Unknown to many, coffee was discoverd in the Ethiopian highlands in the 9th Century.
Ethiopia's coffee ceremony is an integral part of their social and cultural life. An invitation to attend a coffee ceremony is considered a mark of friendship or respect and is an excellent example of Ethiopian hospitality.
Performing the ceremony is almost obligatory in the presence of a visitor, whatever the time of day. Don't be in a hurry though - this special ceremony can take a few hours. So sit back and enjoy because it is most definitely not instant.
Coffee is taken with plenty of sugar (or in the countryside, salt) but no milk and is generally accompanied by lavish praise for its flavour and skilful preparation. Often it is complemented by a traditional snack food, such as popcorn, peanuts or cooked barley.
In most parts of Ethiopia, the coffee ceremony takes place three times a day - in the morning, at noon and in the evening. It is the main social event within the village and a time to discuss the community, politics, life and about who did what with whom. If invited into a home to take part, remember - it is impolite to retire until you have consumed at least three cups, as the third round is considered to bestow a blessing.