Kohibana – ikebana and coffee ceremony
Kohibana – ikebana made to complement coffee ceremony is my invention inspired by this wonderful ceremony. The coffee drinking ceremony, bun, has a special place in the cultural tradition of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Coffee is served and drunk in the company of family members every day, and is is served with special pleasure to guests. The ceremony can last several hours, and the emphasis is on togetherness and socializing through rituals of preparing, serving and drinking coffee.
For coffee ceremony you need the following:
There are many different types of jebenas. They can be bought at the local markets.
Fernelo – a coal stove Coffee morter – megdue bun Popcorn is usually served with coffee and other treats, like bread and chockolate Hmbasha – traditional Eritrean bread
Coffee ceremony – process
First, put the raw coffee in the menkeshkesh and roast it over open fire. When the coffee is roasted, place it into a fan, meshrefet, then slowly with a fan in your hands pass in front of the guests so that they can feel the aroma of coffee. Guests are expected to wave their hands towards themselves so that they can better smell the coffee. This is done by saying the word t’uum – which means good. This expresses gratitude to the woman who makes coffee.
After that, the coffee is manually ground in a coffee mortar, called megdue bun. After the coffee is sufficiently “ground”, it is placed in a jebena containing boiling water . Ginger can also be added in a bowl. When the coffee reaches the neck of jebena, it is quickly removed and part of the liquid is poured into another container. Then the liquid from the vessel is poured into the jebena again, and when it boils again, a filter made of horsehair, leef, is put in, and the coffee is poured into the finjals.
The coffee is poured all the way to the top of the finjal, placed on a saucer and served. Coffee is served with popcorn, sweets and traditional bread – hmbasha.
This process of serving coffee is repeated at least three times: the first coffee is called awel – which means first, the second serving is called kalaj (which means second) and the third serving is called bereka (meaning blessing). While the coffee is being enjoyed, guests praise the housewife who serves the coffee with the word t’uum, which means good.
Obično se uz kafu pali i tradicionalni tamjan. A na stoliću koji stoji ispred žene koja pravi kafu obično stoji i poneki ukras od plastičnog cvijeća.
Traditional incense is usually burnt while coffee is being served. And on the table that stands in front of the woman who makes coffee, there is usually some decoration made of plastic flowers.
This inspired me to start making ikebana with a ceremony of drinking coffee from real flowers.
Since the ikebana made with the tea ceremony is called chabana (from the words tea – cha and flower – hana), I called this ikebana kohibana (from the Japanese word kohi for coffee and hana for flower).
Kohibana is made in small pots so that it can fit on a table. Since the flowers are viewed from above, care should be taken to make arrangements that look beautiful even when viewed from above and from the sides.
You can read more about ikebana in my online book (PDF) Ikebana – the way of flowers.