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Tej - 'Tej' is pronounced as in T'édge, and is the generic name for Ethiopian traditional Honey Wine or Mead. Tej = Ethiopian Honey Wine.

Tej is one of the special elixirs only available in Ethiopia. Be careful though - this sweet wine packs a punch. Tej is served in tej bet (Téj House, similar to Coffee House), or special bars set up strictly to sell tej either by the glass(glass is called Berele Be-re-lé) or by the bottle to take home. Several restaurants serving traditional Ethiopian fare also offer tej on the menus. The distilling ritual, with glass beakers reminiscent of high school chemistry lessons, is fun to watch.

Ethiopians purchase gallons of honey at a time to produce the mead and the taste can be as individual as the imagination of the person making it. The same recipe can vary from mother to daughter, for the mead is made from instinct as much as from a recipe. The extract of a native Ethiopian tree, the Gesho (similar to Hazel) imparts a bitter quality to the T'ej making it the ideal drink to complement the spicy food of the Ethiopians. The honey- sweet, bitter, dry tone of T'ej is enhanced by the food.

 


Ethiopia: Stuck on honey
By Ellene Mocria
BBC, Addis Ababa

Ethiopians like their honey and over the years have exploited bees to the full.

The country's famous national drink is a sweet wine known as Tej - made from honey.

Apytherapy is used in hospitals to treat a variety of ailments.

And Ethiopia is a major producer of beeswax, only surpassed by Mexico and China.

It is also the world's 10th biggest honey producer.

Beeswax

Another common product is beeswax.

According to the Holeta Bee Research Centre Manager, Mr Deregy Woltegi, the export of beeswax now competes with coffee, the green gold of the country. ... read full article

 


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