We returned to Red Sea Ethiopian & Mediterranean Restaurant for a second try after hearing about the delicious vegetarian plates. What we didn’t expect? An invitation to a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with the restaurant’s owners: Giniyat Mohammed (Gini) and Kedija Teyeb.
The coffee ceremony begins with the table being dressed with various decorations and an assortment of coffee cups. “We do this three times a day in Ethiopia,” Gini said, “We invite all of the neighbors”, she continued.
After the table was fully prepared, Gini brought out the coffee beans in their raw form.
Then, she took them back to the kitchen where she roasted them. After she returned, she held out the skillet of freshly roasted coffee beans for everyone to waft. They smelled very strongly of toasted coffee.
She began burning incense and playing Ethiopian music to complete the mood and prepare us for the coffee drinking.
After she ground the beans and combined them with hot water, Gini began pouring the fresh hot coffee into the cups lining the table.
Creamer was offered as an option; sugar was not, as it was considered a staple and was spooned into each cup.
After the cups were prepared, she began handing them to the various array of people sitting around the coffee table.
Together, we drank the coffee which was very strong, but delicious. Gini joked that you must drink a minimum of three. The coffee ceremony is something that the owners hope they can begin offering at certain times each day for the public.
We also tried the delicious Veggie Combo on this visit. This dish includes a portion of all of the vegetarian dishes on one plate, set atop Injera bread.
The menu describes each of the vegetarian dishes.
Gini has begun making her own Injera bread in-house, instead of sending her husband to Atlanta multiple times each week to purchase the spongy, sourdough-risen flatbread, meant to be used as a spoon to eat a variety of foods. She is very proud to make her own Injera.