Coffee is part of daily life not only in America but throughout the world. The history of the word “coffee” is a little murky, but some believe it refers to the drink’s origins in the Kingdom of Kaffa, in present-day Ethiopia. Today, Ethiopia still produces some of the world’s best coffee beans, and on September 10, from 5:30-7:30pm, you can participate in a traditional coffee roasting ceremony in Harvard Square.
If you like the smell of coffee brewing, you’re going to love the smell of coffee roasting. The Ethiopian roasting ceremony involves toasting green coffee beans over coals, grinding the roasted beans by hand with a mortar and pestle, and then boiling the grinds in a special pot known as a jebena. The ceremony is called a bunna, and after the coffee is made, the host pours three rounds of coffee, with the third round, known as bereka (“to be blessed”), taking on a special significance.
With every round, the host pours an extra cup of coffee, and despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to discover the meaning behind this extra cup. I might just have to head to the Harvard Yard Starbucks on September 10 to find out! You can learn more about the event here. Special thanks to Starbucks and the Ethiopian Global Initiative for teaming up to organize this event.