Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony & Tasting

Date: 11/08/2012

Time: 10:00

Duration: 4 hours

Event type: Tasting

Speaker: Genet (Originally from Harar, Genet began her career as a cook in Addis Ababa. After her arrival in Switzerland, she became vice-president of the "Association" and offers an Ethopian dining experience at home.)

Location: at the Taste of Travel agency

Info: Join us for the preparation of Ethiopian coffee and enjoy it on our terrace, ceremony location, between 10:00 and 14:00. You can drop in at any time, no need to register. The coffee costs CHF 3.80 a cup and the returns go to the association and to A Taste of Travel.

There is a fable that there was a very unhappy young Ethiopian shepherd called Kaldi. His goats almost never slept at all. They were always to romping and playing. One day he was watching, he realized they gorged themselves on berries of a shrub in the region. Intrigued, he showed these strange fruits to the monks of his village. They then made a concoction to taste and then they stayed awake many days and nights in prayer. The secret of coffee had been discovered. The legends about the discovery of coffee are many and various. Some are belive that it was discovered in the Kaffa region in Ethiopia. Others claim that it was found in in Yemen, where it was first called “bunn”. For some scholars, the word coffee originates from the Arabic word “cahouah”, which means “to have no appetite.” A Taste of Travel, together with, the Association is presenting this coffee tasting to help you begin your Saturday in the best way possible.


Coffee is brewed on a small wooden tablet containing 12 or 16 cups, herbs, spices. This first taste of the extraordinary Ethiopian hospitality is not complete without the traditional coffee ceremony (Bunna in Amharic). This particular preparation is a mark of respect by the host family and is of great importance in this highly traditional country.

The woman preparing the coffee, and it is always a woman, has before her a mat on which herbs are arranged, a brazier containing charcoal, a small base cabinet of cups and sugar, a few pieces of frankincense, a coffeepot of earthenware with a long neck and a metal cup containing the coffee beans to be roasted.

The art is in the roasting of the beans using the brazier: too much and coffee has a burnt taste, and too little coffee will be bitter. As the beans roast and take colour, a haze of smoke appears. The preparer burns a little incense on the coals to perfume the air which becomes heavier. The roasted beans are are crushed in a small pestle. The grounds are then poured into the coffee pot followed by water then the pot is then placed on the brazier. For a few moments the alchemy takes place and then the nectar is complete. The result is beyond expectations: a coffee as you drink more at home, pure, natural, some would say “green” !

Biography of Genet

Genet originates from Harar, a famous walled city in eastern Ethiopia. In Addis Ababa she worked as a cook and this is where she met her husband in 2005. She arrived in Switzerland in 2009, and fit nicely to life in Switzerland and learned French. In 2011, she became vice president of The association that raises awareness of people of Ethiopia for the Suisse Romande through travel, gastronomy and culture. In July 2012, she opened with the "Ethiopian Table", located in her home at Rue du Lac 16 in Vevey.

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