The Language of Coffee Love!
Posted by Tewodros Fekadu on April 09, 2015 . 0 Comments
When you combine over 1000 years of history with around 15 million Ethiopians currently relying on coffee either directly or indirectly as their livelihood, it doesn't take much to realise how important coffee is to the Ethiopians. In fact, coffee is so deeply rooted in Ethiopian culture that it comes to life in many of their daily expressions relating to social life as well as relationships with people and food.
In the Ethiopian national language (Amharic), the word for "coffee" is "buna" and probably one of the most well known proverbs that best describes the place of coffee in Ethiopian culture is "buna dabo naw" meaning "Coffee is our bread". This proverb gives us great insight into the importance of coffee as part of the daily Ethiopian diet and the role it plays as a source of sustenance.
It is also an incredibly important part of their social life. If you have ever been fortunate to visit Ethiopia, you might be surprised to see amount of cafes that line the streets of the capital Addis Ababa. Drinking coffee is something they take very seriously! In 2013/14, approximately 3.6 million bags were consumed - representing 71.6% of the total domestic consumption of Africa and 8% of all exporting countries - which leads us on to the next proverb, "buna tetu" simply meaning "drink coffee." Deeper than the act of merely consuming coffee, this saying also refers to the act of socialising - in English, we might say something like "let's catch up for coffee". Therefore, conversely, if you say in Ethiopia that you do not have anyone to have a coffee with, Ethiopians would assume that you do not have any good friends to confide in.
Finally, in addition to social life, the love of coffee also makes its way into matters of the heart with love life also getting its very own proverb - "coffee and love taste best when hot!". And we couldn't agree more!