“Buna dabo naw” – “Coffee is our bread!”

For the 150 Million Americans consuming an average of 3 cups of coffee a day, I think one could say it is the liquid bread of life here in America.

Coffee is the ‘Ethiopian way’ and literally the bread and medicine of life for the hospice clients of Strong Hearts Ethiopia. This community roasts, bags, and sells Ethiopian coffee in the traditions of their country to sustain the bread and life for themselves and their families. One bean. One day at a time.

In Ethiopia an invitation to attend a ‘coffee ceremony’  is considered a mark of friendship or respect, a pure and simple example of Ethiopian hospitality.  It is an invitation often extended upon initial meeting. During our travels in Ethiopia, we were surprised at the offering of ‘coffee ceremony’  in every village, community, or even among the remote landscapes. Hospitality survives here in a way that some of us have forgotten.  During our journey, coffee ceremony was served to us from the cliffs high above Lalibela to the small, single-room dirt floor huts that over 80% of the population in Ethiopia live in. No espresso maker needed here.

In a world where time has long become a commodity, the Ethiopian coffee ceremony takes us back to a time when value was given to conversation and human relationships.   In Ethiopia, Coffee Ceremony is center to social and cultural life.  No drive-thru or super size cups here, as it is impolite to retire until you have consumed at least three cups, as the third round is considered to bestow a blessing.  Transformation of the spirit is said to take place during the coffee ceremony through the completion of ‘Abol’ (the first round), ‘Tona’ (second round) and ‘Baraka’ (third round).

It is said that coffee originated in Ethiopia and to this country it today is still a very special crop.  Over 90% of the coffee farmed here is organically raised and shared with the rest of the world.

The next time you are in the drive-thru and the barista hands you your favorite coffee drink, made exactly your way – take a moment and remember the hospice women of Strong Hearts roasting, bagging, and selling some of the best organically-grown coffee in the world to continue to sow the seeds of sustainability for themselves and their families.  Will you share the magic of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony and share ‘a cup’ with Strong Hearts? It’s simple. Just click the donate button on this page!  You can learn more about Strong Hearts here.

“Good coffee is like friendship: rich, warm and strong.” ~Pan-American Coffee Bureau


Leave A Comment