Culinary Culture: A Special Brew – Spectrum News

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — There’s no better way to your start your day than with a nice cup of coffee. But to some cultures, coffee is more than your daily pick-me-up. It’s an integral part of life, family and community. One Texas restaurant showed us how coffee is meant to be enjoyed, from the place where it all began.

“The birthplace of coffee. Yes, it’s true!” Exclaimed Woinee Mariam, owner of Taste of Ethiopia. “It’s called coffee because it came from Djima, it’s called kaffa.”

“The city, Kaffa, so that’s why it’s called coffee,” Mariam emphasized.

She gathered all the materials and seats needed to start a ceremony. That included a hot plate, a special kettle, cups and the coffee.

“First, what we’re gonna do is the green coffee. We will wash it and we’re gonna roast it on here,” Mariam explained. “This coffee, like I told you, in my country, it’s not because you want to wake up or it’s only in the morning. It can be in the afternoon. It can be anytime you want to and like, as a family, after we eat, we either have coffee or hot tea. So, mostly, coffee!”

The smell of coffee began to take over the restaurant.

“Once you roast it, you take this coffee and make everyone smell it,” Mariam said.

She got up and walked towards us, her staff and chef, instructing everyone to enjoy the aroma.

“Smell it!” Mariam said. “I’m coming for you to make you smell the coffee, you know what to do, right?”

Mariam then grinds the coffee and pours it into a clay jar to start the brewing process.

“When you mix it and it boils, we should take it out,” she explained. “The coffee grinds still at the bottom and the clear coffee comes out.”

“Would you like some coffee?” Mariam offered.

“In my country, everything is done together,” she explained. “There’s no such thing as by yourself. Even so we’re eating, we eat first and we go by the area where we make coffee. Everybody will sit around you. Everybody will be around you. So you’ll be roasting coffee, you’ll be laughing.”