Coffee Ceremony of the Macha Oromo in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia

Ayehu Bacha Teso


This article deals with coffee ceremony of the Macha Oromo in Jimma zone aiming at investigating its cultural and social significances. Ethnographic methods like observation, focus group discussions and interview were used to collect data. Descriptive and interpretative approach was extensively exploited to analyze and synthesize the data. Barbara Fiese’s theoretical underpinnings, which basically focused on the family mealtime, was used to frame and interpret first hand data for coffee ceremony is a similar context. The finding of this study reveals that coffee drinking is deeply ceremonial and serves many social and cultural purposes. It is the stage on which different social issues are discussed, information is exchanged, solidarity is strengthened, children are socialized, norms and values of the society are audited, information is exchanged, peace is lamented and discussions are held. Thus, the latent function of coffee ceremony, bringing people and issues to one stage, is highly valued among the people of the study area. Therefore, coffee ceremony should not be seen merely as a place at which coffee is drunk and people relax; rather, it ought to be regarded as the stage serving many social, cultural and political purposes.


Coffee; Ceremony; Jimma; Macha; Oromo

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