Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and has some of the most dynamic flavors you'll find anywhere in the world. There are between 6 and 10 thousand different types of Ethiopian coffee, but they are generally distinguished by their region, altitude and tasting score rather than by type. Ethiopia is well known for its diverse topography, with altitudes ranging from 100 meters below sea level, such as the Danakil Depression, to 4,600 meters above sea level in the Semien Mountains. As things stand, Ethiopia has between six and ten thousand varieties of coffee, most of which have not yet been classified.
Ethiopian coffee beans grown in the Harar, Yirgacheffe or Limu regions are kept separate and marketed under their regional name. These regional varieties are trademark names with Ethiopian proprietary rights. Harar is located in the eastern highlands of Ethiopia. It is one of the oldest coffee beans still being produced and is known for its distinctive fruity and winey flavor.
Coffee bean shells are used in a tea called hasher-qahwa. The grain is medium in size with a yellowish greenish color. It has a medium acidity and a full body and a distinctive mocha flavor. Harar is a dry processed coffee bean with sorting and processing carried out almost entirely by hand.
Although the processing is done by hand, workers know very well how each bean is classified. It is a wild arabica grown on small farms in the region of Oromia (formerly Harrar) at elevations between 1,400 and 2,000 meters. Harrar is known for its intense flavor and fruity acidity. It is described as rich and spicy, with strong hints of blueberry or blackberry.
It is usually full-bodied and has been compared to dry red wine. Its intensity means that it is most commonly used in espresso blends, rather than a single source. Limu coffee grows in southwestern Ethiopia between 1,100 and 1,900 m, a, s, l. A washed coffee with a relatively low acidity, it has a well-balanced body and a distinctive spicy taste that is pleasantly sweet and often has floral notes.
This region in southwestern Ethiopia is a major producer of commercial quality coffee. It grows at an altitude of 1,400 to 2,100 m, a, s, l. Also written as Djimmah, coffees from this region are the best when washed and can acquire a medicinal flavor if processed naturally. The grains are washed or processed in a natural way.
The processing method used (2) has a great impact on the final taste of the coffee. When coffees are wet processed or washed, the fruit is mechanically extracted immediately. These grains are characterized by their clarity of flavor, with bright and complex notes. The final glass tastes very clean.
Each ceremony lasts 2 to 3 hours, and it is common for families to enjoy 2 to 3 of these ceremonies per day. This is an event for the whole family, where even children participate in the coffee service to the elderly. Guests are frequently invited and the conversation can range from politics to the local community and more. Many drink their coffee with a spoonful of sugar, but never with milk.
More water is added to the pot and boiled again 2 more times, weakening with each infusion. Although they may not taste as good, the second and third beers are just as important as the first. Sometime around 850 d. C., a young goatherd named Kaldi used to take his goats to graze in the pastures of Kaffa province.
One day, after eating berries from a nearby bush, the animals began to jump with excitement. Kaldi decided to try some berries himself. He also felt euphoric and full of energy. Ethiopia began exporting coffee in the 15th century.
Somali merchants brought coffee to Yemen, where Sufi mystics drank it so that they could better concentrate on their songs. A couple of centuries later, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church banned coffee altogether. Ethiopians only consumed coffee again at the end of the 19th century thanks to Emperor Menelik II, who himself liked drinking. After that, Ethiopia's coffee production and export skyrocketed.
Today, coffee accounts for about 70% of all export earnings and is essential for the country's economy. It is estimated that 15 million Ethiopians, a quarter of the country's population make a living growing coffee. Ethiopian coffee grows mainly in southern mountainous regions with deep, fertile volcanic soils at altitudes up to 8,858 feet. This coffee tends to have a much higher quality and more complex flavor notes than coffees that come from lower elevations.
Because Ethiopia's coffee-producing regions are incredibly varied, flavor profiles differ markedly from region to region, between different microregions and even farms. Located in the west of the country at altitudes of 5,570-7,210 feet above sea level, the Gimbi region is known for its wet-processed coffees. The varieties grown in Gimbi have a heavy body, medium to pointed acidity and a nuanced flavor profile with a fruity finish. Gimbi coffees are an important part of the blends of many roasters, although they can also be gourmet coffees from a single origin.
For hundreds of years, Ethiopia has provided some of the world's best-rated premium single-origin coffee beans. In general, Ethiopian coffees are best known for their complexity, with a spicy, wine-growing quality and a distinctive wild acidity. Ethiopian coffee is served with lots of sugar and sometimes honey, salt or even butter in the Kaffa and Sidamo regions. However, about 20% of Ethiopian coffee is grown wild in coffee forests, the most common being the Gesha forest, which produces the original gesha coffee, often labeled as wild coffee.
Harrar coffees are a distinctive wild variety specific to the region and are hand-processed by locals. As it is an African coffee, Ethiopian coffee tends to have a light body and a brighter acidity, it does better as a filter coffee. After that, Ethiopian production and coffee exports deteriorated and today, coffee accounts for almost 70 percent of export earnings and it is estimated that a quarter of the population makes a living growing coffee. A few centuries later, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church banned coffee, and it was not until the 19th century that the culture of coffee consumption returned thanks to Emperor Menelik II, who liked drinking.
Limu coffee is grown in southwestern Ethiopia, at elevations between 3,600 and 6,200 feet. Limu The Limu region is less well known than the registered “big three” regions, but it is home to some excellent coffees. The best Ethiopian coffees are those that come from a single region, mainly because these coffees contain predictable flavors. You don't want to mix it with another coffee because these beans have a lot to offer on their own.
In Ethiopia, coffee is an important part of culture, and a respected daily event is the Ethiopian coffee ceremony. These Ethiopian Mordecofe beans from Stumptown Coffee comprise some of the finest Ethiopian beans on the market. The coffee comes from the province of Sidamo, in the Ethiopian highlands, at elevations from 1,500 to 2,200 meters above sea level. Within the Sidamo region is the beloved Yirgacheffe, a small town whose nearby farms consistently produce some of the best coffee in the world.