Coffee Culture in Eritrea
Coffee is an integral part of Eritrean culture, with the beverage being consumed throughout the day. In fact, coffee is so important in the country that it is believed to be a symbol of friendship and hospitality. Coffee ceremonies are a common feature in Eritrean households and are often used to bring people together. Eritrean coffee is made from ground coffee beans and brewed in a clay pot over hot coals.
Traditional Coffee Ceremony
The Eritrean coffee ceremony is a time-honored tradition that is still widely practiced today. The ceremony involves the roasting, grinding, and brewing of coffee beans in a clay pot called a jebena. The jebena is often decorated with intricate designs and is placed on a bed of hot coals. Once the coffee is brewed, it is served in small cups called finjal. The coffee ceremony is a social affair and is typically performed in the presence of guests.
Popular Coffee Variations
Eritrea is famous for its macchiato, which is a variation of the Italian espresso. Eritrean macchiato is made by adding a small amount of frothed milk to a shot of espresso, resulting in a sweeter, milder flavor. Another popular variation is the shahi, which is made by mixing coffee with milk and sugar. The shahi is often served in small glass cups and is a favorite among Eritrean women. Other popular variations include the cappuccino, Americano, and latte. Regardless of the variation, coffee is a staple in Eritrean households and is enjoyed by people of all ages.
In conclusion, coffee is more than just a beverage in Eritrean culture. It is a symbol of friendship and hospitality and plays an important role in daily life. The traditional coffee ceremony is a testament to the importance of coffee in Eritrea, and the various coffee variations reflect the country’s diverse coffee culture.