Tej (Amharic: ጠጀ?, pronounced [ˈtʼədʒ]; Tigrinya: ሜሰ?, mes, Oromo: daadhi) is a mead or honey wine that is brewed and consumed in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is flavored with the powdered leaves and twigs of gesho (Rhamnus prinoides), a hops-like bittering agent that is a species of buckthorn. Tej is usually homemade, but throughout Ethiopia it is available in "tej houses" (tej betoch, singular tej bet (ጠጅ ቤት)).
The traditional vessel for drinking tej is a rounded vase-shaped container called a berele, which looks like a Florence flask. Tej has a deceptively sweet taste that masks its high alcohol content, which varies greatly according to the length of fermentation. Berz is a sweeter, less-alcoholic version of tej, and is aged for a shorter time.
- Bahiru, Bekele; (et al.) (July–September 2001). "Chemical and nutritional properties of 'tej', an indigenous Ethiopian honey wine: variations within and between production units". Vol. 6, No. 3. The Journal of Food Technology in Africa. pp. 104–108. Retrieved 13 November 2014.