Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Cup of Inspiration from the Real Coffee Expert

The Best Part of Wakin' Up today was that my friend, Tsege, invited me to her home for breakfast and “buna", good African coffee—promising that it would be better than Starbucks. Now I know that she loves a Bring On The Day Starbucks DoubleShot with lots of sugar and cream but she assured me that no one can duplicate the flavor of her good African coffee.

Take a look at my own Barista. First is a photo of a painting of Tsege from several years ago. Then is a photo taken today with my cell phone. Perhaps they give a see-through-the glass-dimly view. Isn't she lovely!

Tsege started with raw coffee beans that she roasted over a hot burner until the smoke alarm went off. Not to worry—that happens every time she informs me. The noise soon stops after she opens her patio door.

Her coffee bar "rekebot" is authentically Ethiopian and also the rug that it is displayed upon. She used an electric grinder for the roasted beans and the aroma was compelling—rich and strong and delicious.

We ate breakfast. I sat on floor pillows and Tsege on her little stool. She told me that you dress in very nice clothes to serve coffee. She gave me a beautiful piece of gauzy like material with pretty gold trim for my shoulders.

Breakfast was a delicious egg dish, like an omelet, with chicken, garlic, spices, onion and hot pepper but not too much of the hot pepper for my benefit. We also had homemade toasted bread and orange slices while the coffee steeped in the black pot called a "jibuna".

When we finished our breakfast—before coffee—Tsege placed some sweet smelling granules on a "girgira" containing a single hot coal to clear the smell of food from the room.

Tsege poured the coffee in miniature cups, "sini", in which she had a mixture of warm cream and two teaspoons of sugar. We each had two cups of her Richness Worth a Second Cup African coffee potion. It really was Good to the Last Drop!

Notice the little container, "girgira", right in front with the aluminum foil? That contained the hot coal for the air freshener.

Tsege told me her dream is to own and run a small African coffee shop with breads and biscuits. That is unlikely to happen. But Tsege takes pride in knowing that her children are accomplishing their dreams. One son graduated from Harvard, one from Duke and her daughter from Wheaton College. Look behind her on the wall and you will notice diplomas and certificates proudly displayed showing her children's accomplishments.

Below is a photo that I took a few weeks ago of her whole family in my home. Her eldest son Selamawi is holding his son Sawyer. Erin, Mawi's wife, is sitting in the brown chair. On the floor in front is Tsege's daughter Mehret, Tsege's youngest son Hntsa, and Tsege's sister visiting from Ethiopia.

Before I left, we prayed together. Tsege prayed sincerely in a language that I cannot understand but I was aware that she was having sweet communion with our heavenly Father.

The coffee stimulated my body and the prayer time stirred my heart. It doesn't get much better than that.


Diana said...

Brenda, What a lovely post! I think it's quite interesting how people from other countries have their coffee.There is so much ritual to it. Not just in Africa.Here we just grab and go! I think that they know something that we don't!

Bernie said...

Hi Brenda, I must of popped into your blog as you were doing your posting and only seen a couple of pictures. Sorry about that, I was thrilled to read your post this morning. Sharing coffee the African way was very informative. Loved your photo's as well, have a wonderful day .......:-) Hugs

Wanda said...

That was an experience to enjoy...like tea ceremonies...rituals make one slow down a bit and appreciate the small things.

Rebecca said...

The hospitality of coffee impresses me here. While, like Diana said, here we just grab and go. (Although I DO truly savor my first cup of coffee each morning). I thought the air freshener idea brilliant. The "stale coffee" smell isn't really all that pleasant, come to think of it. )We were at Moody, by the way. I can't remember if I told you.)

Brenda said...

Bernie asked me via email how to prounounce my friend's name. It sounds like See-gay. The photos, except for the family group were taken with my cell phone which takes poor quality! Tsege blesses me.