An Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony part 1
We have travelled the world, scoured the internet and delved into the history books to bring you this very special list of weird ways to make coffee. This is a 2 part blog - watch out for the next one soon!
Different cultures adapt their different environments to make the most of their beloved coffee, and we hope you enjoy reading about their creative rituals here!
Please let us know if you have heard of any other weird and wonderful ways to brew coffee!
Coffee Style: thick, dark, earthy and strong.
Having seen this brewing method for the first time at Jakarta Airport, I was inspired to research the background of this visually impressive and very hypnotic brew style. Brewing coffee in hot sand is not entirely uncommon, especially in the Middle East.
Watching the full brew method, it combines a number of different standard methods we cover in our E-Book “How To Brew Coffee” like the plunger, Turkish and the filter process.
Traditionally, a cup of Turkish coffee is brewed using a wide pan (like a big paella pan) filled with sand heated over an open flame. The sand must be really really hot.
Handy if you are in the Middle East as there is a plentiful supply of hot sand available.
A cezve, or ibrik, is used in this process. Also a paper or metal filter and jug - a Chemex is fantastic, or a pour over funnel .
How To Sand Brew:
1.Grind coffee finely and place in an Ibrik. Use quite a lot for best results, about the same as a strong plunger coffee.
2.Add hot (not boiling) water and stir well. Allow to sit for a minute.
3.Place Ibrik in the pan of sand and roll it in a circular motion around the pan, gradually submerging the Ibrik deeper and deeper in the sand.
4.The coffee will boil, once boiled, remove from the sand and let sit for 20 seconds or so.
5.Repeat the sand rolling another 3 times, bringing the coffee to boil and removing at boiling point each time.
6.Once finished with the boiling by sand process, allow the coffee to sit for 30 seconds or so.
7.Using a filter pourer gently pour the coffee brew into the filter and the pot underneath.
8.Serve filtered coffee in a mug and add milk or condensed milk and sugar if desired.
Coffee Style : High caffeine, smooth taste, red-umber pale in colour, almost completely free of bitter tannins.
Loved stumbling across this method and it was a priority to try it after watching some youtube videos. A lot easier than I imagined, and truly a fun way to brew. Great for a brunch gathering at home as people love to watch the crazy blend of ingredients come together and form a great big mess that results in a beautiful, delicate, smooth coffee. Super clarified.
Many countries have their own version of this coffee brew but I like the Scandinavian style. Stories say that it was developed by Scandinavian immigrants to the USA with the goal of turning weak, subpar coffee and hard, unforgiving water into a beverage that was greater than the sum of it’s parts.
Basically, you crushing an egg (shell and all), whisking it with freshly ground coffee, and boiling the mixture sounds gross. The result looks terrifying, too — like a hideous swamp creature gurgling in your pot.
How the hell does that work? Well, the albumin in the egg whites soak up coffee’s bitter tannins to leave behind super smooth coffee, and the egg yolk adds creaminess. The shell acts as a ‘flocculant’ to make clumps of tiny coffee particles and any undesirables which means when you strain it, all the stuff you don’t want is left behind. Eggs act kind of like the antioxidants, or even the kidneys, of the coffee brewing world.
How To Create Egg Coffee :
1.Grind about 20g beans, using the grind for drip coffee ( check out our free grind guide )
2.Add a whole egg (yep, shell and all). Make sure you get organic (we all know about organic and happy chickens etc etc) and wash the eggs well – chicken poop isn’t a part of this brew method.
3.Add about ¼ cup of room temperature water.
4.Start whisking, it will be like a big messy cake batter.
5.Have water boiling in a saucepan and once boiled, add the egg-coffee-mess-mixture and bring back to the boil slowly. Nothing too fast here.
6.From here, you can simmer gently for 5-10 minutes OR you can set the mix aside for 10 minutes. Now the coffee is brewed.
7.Pour one cup of cold water over the brew. The same way that colder, denser air sinks, the water will push your monster into the depths below.
8.Pour gently over a filter, or just pour out carefully and you won’t need a filter. The coffee will look more like tea, but it will give you a strong caffeine buzz as it is quite pure.The albumin in the egg whites had absorbed most of the tannins, turning them tan-brown. This clarified the brew and dramatically cut its bitterness while leaving all the precious caffeine behind. You may not need milk or cream – try it as it is first.
Coffee Style : strong, sweet, muddy, earthy.
This is a great alternative to Instant Coffee (which is hardly even coffee at all!) in it’s simplicity and easy. Sometimes it is referred to as “mud coffee,” or “Bali Coffee” it is one of the most common forms of coffee available in Indonesia.
Super inexpensive - you can buy ‘Bali Kopi’ at all the local stores for about $2.5 for a bag. The coffee is super super finely ground like soft silt and you have to be careful to leave the last mouthful in the cup. I ask visitors to Indonesia to bring me back some. It is one of the nicest coffees to make at home without too much faffing around.
I like to add a cinnamon stick to mine if it’s feeling like a special day, and sometimes go without my usual milk. The Indonesians add a tonne of sugar (as with everything!) but I find the taste quite sweet without it.
Another nice aromatic to add to this brew is Chicory Root. It takes bitterness out of brewed coffee, and it can also disrupt excess hormone release in your body, making you a nicer person to be around.
How to do Bali Coffee :
1.Add a large spoon of the ground coffee to a large glass beer mug (yes, a beer mug), plus any sugar.
2.Bloom it by pouring just a bit of recently boiled water to wet the coffee. *NOTE : I am not sure the Indonesians do this, but I like to.
3.Make sure you don’t over-boil the water – if you do, the brew will taste flat.
4.Top to mug up with recently boiled water and stir well. Add a cinnamon stick if desired.
5.Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes (don’t stir again), add milk if desired.
6.As you drink it, be careful not to disturb the coffee mud at the bottom of your mug. When you discard the dregs, throw them in the garden rather than your sink as they WILL clog your pipes (yes, personal experience speaks here!).
Brazillian Coffee Shots
Coffee Style : strong and sweet
The Brazillians do this kind of espresso called ‘Cafezinho’. They are tiny cups of strong and extremely sweet coffee. They drink them all day, everywhere—from gas stations to sidewalks to posh boutiques.
Cafézinho is a word that more than being a diminutive for coffee (cafe, in Portuguese) is almost a synonym for welcome in Brazil. Our experience was that wherever you go, the minute you walk in the door, someone will pop the question “ would you like a cafézinho?” and they won’t take no for an answer. Or maybe they won’t even ask and the cafézinho will soon materialize on a dainty tray brought in by a maid. A wonderful cultural practise indeed!
The equipment traditionally used in Brazil to make a Cafézinho is an antique wooden coffee maker. A cloth strainer (kind of like a sock) sits in the hole and the coffee pot sits right underneath it.
For each cup of water poured through the strainer, they use a heaped tablespoon of good coffee ground for espresso. The recipe also calls for sugar to taste for an authentic brew.
How to make a Cafezinho :
1.Add water to your saucepan, add sugar and dissolve well. Go nuts with the sugar, you’re in Brazil and you are going to be dancing all night so it is OK.
2.Bring to boil gently over medium heat.
3.When the water and sugar mixture boils, add the finely ground coffee and stir well. Remember we are making a STRONG mix here so use a lot of coffee.
4.Pour through a traditional cloth coffee strainer (or a paper filter) into a warmed jug or vessel.
5.Pour immediately into a tiny cup. The tinier the better.
6.This sort of coffee looks beautiful served on a tray with gorgeous little spoons and (more) sugar, possibly a little jug of cream to top up. Or just wander around with your tiny cup of strong, dark love!
Malaysian Coffee in a Sock
Coffee Style : sweet, burnt caramel
This type of brew is found in many Asian cultures with their unique variations, namely Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The coffee is brewed in a sock (not a real sock, but a tubular sock-like thing) made of muslin that is attached to a wooden handle. Imagine a long tubular fishing net, or airplane wind sock. Or just imagine a coffee being brewed in a long tubular material filter. I digress…
Before brewing, the beans are roasted with butter and sugar which give the coffee it’s unique burned caramel flavor. Some styles, in particular the Ipoh, is roasted without the sugar and considered more refined in Malaysia. This is a great brew style to try if you are into home roasting. Lots of fun.
How to Brew Malaysian Style :
1.Grind the coffee, fairly finely, and put inside the filter. Use about half a cup of coffee to about 4 cups of water. Or ¼ cup coffee to 2 cups of water. Or… (you get it).
2.Set your muslin tubular filter into a large container. Let it lie down in a glass bowl or jug.
3.Add the almost boiling water. Try to keep the ‘sock’ evenly distributed and submerged in liquid.
4.Brew for AT LEAST 6 or 7 minutes. At most 15.
5.Remove the filter, pour remaining coffee into a jug or cup.
6.Add sugar and condensed or evaporated milk to taste.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog!
Cheers, The Coffee Man.