What is unique about Ethiopian coffee?

Ethiopian coffee is known for its bright, fruity and floral flavors. These coffees tend to have higher acidity, a light to medium body and complex flavor notes. 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.

Ethiopian beans as a whole are known for their wine quality and bright mouthfeel. They usually have a light to medium body, higher acidity and complex flavor notes. Most coffees in Ethiopia are processed naturally, which means they are dried with the cherry fruit still attached to the coffee bean. This style of processing gives coffee fruity or vinous tones and a bright acidity.

Wet processing is a newer method and fruit is removed. The final cups are clean, floral and complex. Ethiopia is serious about the quality of its coffee. As the homeland of all coffees enjoyed around the world, their reputation will be significantly affected if they export low-quality coffee.

The quality of coffee has an impact on its price in the world market. As the fifth largest producer of Arabica coffee beans in the world, Ethiopian coffee undergoes rigorous processing to maintain superior coffee quality. Ethiopia has several different growing regions for coffee. Each growing region is known for growing coffee beans that have their own unique flavor.

And the flavors of coffee grown in different regions of Ethiopia are very different. But they do have some points in common. Coffee grown in Ethiopia is known for having a bright mouthfeel and tasting something like wine. Ethiopian coffees have higher acidity levels than most, with light to medium body and nuanced flavors.

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 washed coffees are known for their elegant and complex flavor with floral, herbal and citrus notes. They are lighter and drier on the palate than naturally processed coffees and have an almost tea-like delicacy. Their body is not too strong and they usually reveal a mild and pleasant acidity. 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. There were three sizes, three types of milk plus four other lactose-free alternatives (soy, almond, coconut and, being Seattle, hemp), and three additional injection strengths. If my calculations are correct, that's 63 ways I could have ordered my drink. In addition, the coffee offered 20 flavors to drizzle into the coffee, a cold option on ice, and three varieties of roasted beans to choose from.

Theoretically, there were thousands of unique ways to drink my latte. Nor was it the fact that most customers ordered their coffee to go. Almost everyone else sat alone (including me). The Ethiopian nomadic mountain peoples of the Galla tribe collected the coffee beans, ground them and mixed them with animal fat, forming nutritious energy balls that served to sustain them during long journeys.

Ethiopian yirgacheffe is highly regarded for its clean, balanced and smooth flavor profile with hints of berries, nuts, chocolate, lemon and wine. No matter how quickly the world modernizes, Ethiopian coffee producers continue to practice ancient traditions, such as the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, to keep the community and families intact. Ethiopian Ghimbi coffees are a variety of wet-processed (washed) coffee grown in western Ethiopia. Ghimbi coffee is known to have a heavier body than Ethiopian Harrar coffees, and is also more balanced with a longer lasting body.

Ethiopian yirgacheffe coffee produces some of the most excellent coffees, as almost 60% is processed wet, while the rest is dried in the sun. The ground coffee beans are placed in a single container similar to the ibriks used to make coffee in Turkey through a strainer several times. From there, coffee is sold and delivered to Ethiopian exporters and brokers, who organize the wholesale process with other countries. And if so, Ethiopian coffee gives us excellent motivation to savor the enduring legacy of its rich history.

Ethiopian coffee differs significantly from any coffee due to its diverse flavor profiles and unique tasting notes. The fruity, lightly roasted flavor profile of Stone Street Coffee Company's Ethiopian yirgacheffe is a definite recommendation. Teppi coffee beans tend to have the wildest taste of all Ethiopian coffees with a distinct citrus profile. Fruits, popcorn, sweets, kolo (traditional Ethiopian snacks consisting of a combination of roasted beans) and pastries often accompany coffee consumption.

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Patrick Draper
Patrick Draper

Total bacon practitioner. Proud coffee expert. Freelance internet maven. Zombie scholar. General bacon specialist. Devoted coffee junkie.