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Traditional Coffee Ceremony at Sidamo Coffee and Tea in Maple Lawn offers a weekly taste of Ethiopia

Kenfe Bellay, owner of Sidamo Coffee and Tea in Fulton, is on a mission to spread his love of coffee. The weekly Ethiopian coffee ceremony at Sidamo showcases his belief that the rich drink is more than a caffeinated pick-me-up.

“I grew up in Ethiopia. It’s the birthplace of coffee,” says Bellay, who also operates a shop inWashington, D.C. “I remember watching my mother roasting coffee as a child. You see the color change, you smell it roasting. It’s the most beautiful smell — and you hear it crack.”

In Ethiopia, coffee is a central part of life in the community. “You don’t drink coffee just to drink coffee,” says Bellay, who owns Sidamo with his wife, Yalemzwed Desta. “It has a social aspect. Normally you don’t drink it by yourself. You’re in the village drinking with neighbors.”

Named after a region in Ethiopia known for its coffee, Sidamo presents the traditional coffee ceremony every Sunday at 2 p.m.

“It’s all in the way it’s prepared,” explains Bellay. “You roast it, smash it and boil it to get the whole flavor of the coffee.”

Sidamo Coffee and Tea, 8180 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton. 301-483-3683. www.sidamocoffeeandtea.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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