The original coffee maker, the Ethiopian jebena.
Today our round the world through its most representative coffee makers makes us land in the cradle of coffee. Despite its several centuries old, this ceramic marvel is still used today in the coffee ceremony of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan.
Like tea in Japan, in these African countries the gathering around a cup of coffee reaches the rank of ceremony. The most common reasons to celebrate a ‘jebena buna’ are directly linked to the local production of coffee and the praise of the prosperity that these crops represent for local farmers. In addition, human ties in the community are reinforced and the passion for coffee is shared.
What is a jebena and how does it work?
Unlike other more modern coffee makers, jebena keeps its manufacturing materials unchanged. It is a clay jug with two nozzles.
Water and coffee will be introduced through one of them and the other will work as a dispenser once the beverage is ready to be decanted. A horsehair filter will be placed on the dispensing nozzle to prevent coffee grounds from ending up in the drink.
To complete the preparation of a cup during a ‘jebena buna’, it will be necessary to boil the coffee, reinsert it into the jebena and decant it at least a second time.
If anything defines the use of jebena today, it is still one of the coffee preparation methods preferred by Ethiopians. Many of them participate regularly in the coffee ceremony, which is considered almost a ritual and follows some pre-established steps that can be extended several hours in time.