Mehari and his family were really influential in our coffee experience many years ago. They are an Ethiopian couple who lived in our old neighborhood. We would stop by their home from time to time and talk about their culture, food and family. The most memorable times were when we had the privilege of drinking coffee with them.
Their coffee rituals were epic. It would start with reserving the entire day and roasting green beans on a primitive but efficient electric griddle. The smell of frankincense wafted in the air mixing with the fresh smell of the roasting beans, made you think that you were in an opium den. It was really heady stuff.
I will never forget Mehari and tell people this story all the time. No room to fill in all the details of an African Eritrean coffee ceremony but if you ever have a chance to be a part of one...do it!!!