Pottery In Addis Ababa

“Ensera” is the traditional water pot that has got unique place in Ethiopia.  Especially in rural areas, women and girls carrying it and walking miles to fetch water from the streaming river, using it in their house holds to keep drinks like Tela (the traditional homemade alcoholic drink), milk and so on.  With all the civilization and technology emerging in the 125 year old Addis Ababa city, Ensera (traditional water pot) still playing role.

Today I want to share two places that use Ensera in very creative ways whether to decorate, promote their business, to even use it.  The first one that caught my eyes was this little traditional coffee shops in Addis Ababa which use Ensera for two purposes and which I think is very simple, effective and interesting.


This one room traditional coffee shop also serves traditional dishes.  Since we Ethiopians use our hand to eat our food, washing hands is the very first and important custom.  Here, Ensera (traditional water pot) is doing its very purpose in a way. They filled it with water and through the tap their customers wash their hands after they ordered.


The other purpose of this Ensera is promoting.  Don’t get confused it’s not the name of the coffee shop that is written on the Ensera in Amharic words which reads as “Full Ale”, rather its simply letting everyone know that they serve this particular Addis’s most loved dish.

A special dish, usually made with kidney beans, onion, tomato, and green pepper, cooked with oil or butter and eaten with Injera or bread.  Addis Ababa, loves to have this dish for breakfast because its delicious, very filling and you can find it in many places at reasonable price.

The pots come in different sizes and have got different kinds of name depending on their size and purpose.  The smaller ones than the water pot (Ensera) called Genbo.

The other place that uses the little Genbo, is one of the reputable Coffee Shops In Addis Ababa and it’s one of my favorites too.  From all the creative ways they decorated the coffee shop to give it traditional and modern vibe, the one that really impressed me was the way they use this little pots as the light bulbs which got me staring at the ceiling for a while.


The fact that they are all painted in different kinds of colors, and having holes around them to let the light pass through is so alluring and gives the place the unique Ethiopian touch.


Many people also make a living in pottery. They create different kinds of pots and you can find them mainly in local markets of Addis Ababa.


Well travelers are finders so I wish you all to find your pot of gold too!

About Sara Genene

I am a traveler... on an endless journey of self-discovery!
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6 Responses to Pottery In Addis Ababa

  1. Thank you for visiting my blog and good luck with yours!


  2. Hi Sara,
    Can you tell me which coffee shop this is? I remember going to one that was really great(but also small and very busy!) I would also love to ask you a few other questions about Addis..is it possible to mail you directly?
    Thank you and Happy Sunday!
    xo Melissa


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