Relationship: Child of im/migrant
My family’s traditional Ethiopian jebena
My family’s traditional Ethiopian jebena

My mother and father immigrated from Ethiopia, where coffee is a big part of the culture and tradition. From morning cups of coffee, to afternoon espresso, drinking coffee is a daily ritual for us. An Ethiopian coffee ceremony is a symbol of hospitality and respect and holds a purpose of fellowship. It is initiated by roasting raw coffee beans, grinding them in a mortar and pestle, and then sifting it through a sieve to get the perfect texture of coffee grounds. The jebena, a handmade clay coffee pot is used in coffee ceremonies. It is typically painted black with engraved designs. After the coffee is grounded, it is placed into the jebena with water. The coffee is then brewed and served. The household's matriarch usually performs the coffee ceremony, allowing me to grow up seeing my mother, grandmother, aunts, and great-aunts make coffee almost every day. Jebenas in most Ethiopian families are passed down through generations and became a household staple. My family's jebena came from Ethiopia years ago as a gift to my mother from my great-aunt. It sits on our kitchen counter, waiting to be used for coffee ceremonies. The jebena has a special place in my heart, and the hearts of many Ethiopians around the world. It is a symbol of our culture. My parents' love of coffee is something that they have held onto since they came from Ethiopia, and they have passed it down to their children. Preparing and drinking coffee is important to my family because of the shared cultural importance it holds. The togetherness and hospitality it brings are the core aspects of our culture.

Place(s): Ethiopia

– Ella Mengistu

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant