hist-brewing: Mead Recipe for T'ej

Dan McFeeley mcfeeley at keynet.net
Thu Aug 24 09:55:58 PDT 2000

Hello all -- I'm looking for help from the collective on a mead recipe for
T'ej, an Ethiopian style mead, which I've recently posted on the Mead Lovers
Digest.  One of the ingredients is what the author calls "woody hops" with
no other information on what kind of hop that might be.  

T'ej is the national drink of Ethiopia, generally made in the home for
family consumption and having a tradition supposedly going back to at
least the 4th Century.  It's quite unique and nearly impossible to exactly
duplicate here in the states.  T'ej recipes vary from family to family,
but the basic style comes from the use of a bitter extract from a native
Ethiopian tree, the Gesho.  The mead is an ideal pairing with the cuisine
of Ethopia, which is spicy hot and served communal style with thin rounds
of Injera bread.  According to Virginia Davis, "the honey-sweet, bitter, 
dry tone of T'ej is enhanced by the food."

The recipe is below -- any ideas or suggestions on a hop type that might
work well?  Yes, I know, the recipe doesn't say anything about yeasts.
Davis commented that either wild yeasts were used or someone in the
village kept a starter culture for communal use.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Dan McFeeley
mcfeeley at keynet.net


   Utensils needed:  Medium cooking pot
                     3 gallon barrel or glass container
   Ingredients:      32 oz. honey
                     1 gallon water
                     1 1/2 cups woody hops

   Mix water and honey in 3 gallon container.  Set aside in a warm room.
   After 3 days, put 6 cups of honey water in the medium cooking pot.  
   Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes after adding 
   woody hops.  Set aside to cool.  Add mixture to 3 gallon container.
   Let stand for 5 days.  Remove hops using strainer.  Cover container
   for 15 to 20 days.  Store in cool location or put in bottles and
   refrigerate after filtering.  Serves 6 to 12.

   Variations of the recipe can call for: 

   Medium citron     -- peeled, sliced, seedless
   coffee beans      -- roasted, cooled and ground
   orange peels      -- 4 medium
   prunes            -- 3 pounds ripe
   banans            -- 6 medium

   The additional ingredients are added after the hops are removed and 
   before storing in the covered container for 15 to 20 days.

               "Traditional Ethiopian T'ej," by Virginia Davis
               _The Meadmakers Journal_ Fall 1988 p. 5.

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