We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Jebena?

Dan Harkins
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A coffee ceremony is a centuries-old tradition in several African and Middle Eastern countries, from Ethiopia to Palestine. A central prop in many of these rites of harvest and community-building is the jebena, a wide-bottomed clay kettle with two spouts — one for pouring and the other facing skyward to facilitate the full brewing process. Often decorated with tribal symbols, these vessels are used to bring people together to celebrate the unique coffee beans they have brought into being.

Various types of coffee can be used in the jebena, though it is often the local blend, since rejoicing that bounty is a major point of the ceremony. These celebrations are common to many communities in Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea, featuring dozens of coffees each. In Ethiopia, where coffee is the most profitable commodity, the most popular beans are Yirgacheffe, Harrar and Keffa — all named after the proud regions from which they came.

Customs vary, with some of the ceremonies lasting for hours. In Ethiopia, it begins with washed beans being poured into a long-handled pan and roasted over a fire, occasionally removing the pan from the flames to waft its aroma under the noses of other participants. After the aroma has filled all lungs, the beans are ground and placed into the jebena with water, to take the pan's place over the fire. After brewing, the coffee is poured through a filter into another container, then poured without the grounds back into the jebena.

To preserve the flavor of the beans, participants in Ethiopian jebena ceremonies usually do not prefer milk or cream in their coffee. Sugar, often in generous scoops, is a customary addition, but usually after the coffee has been poured into squat cups called cini. In several cultures, having just one serving would not be keeping with tradition, either. If fact, it is usually considered poor form to participate in a coffee ceremony without consuming three helpings, each with its own official name and symbolic meaning.

Some cultures burn incense to complement the aromatic effects of the coffee, while others let the coffee speak for itself. The ceremony is not a private affair; the jebena frequently comes out of the closet when visitors call. When served, it is usually accompanying snacks like cookies or peanuts. Many historians believe that northern Africa is the birthplace not only of civilization, but also of the coffee bean, which is another point of pride for those still performing coffee ceremonies in 2011.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Harkins
By Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his journalism degree, he spent more than two decades honing his craft as a writer and editor for various publications. Dan’s debut novel showcases his storytelling skills and unique perspective by drawing readers into the story’s captivating narrative.
Discussion Comments
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins, a former military professional, brings his diverse life experiences to his writing. After earning his...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.