What makes Ethiopian coffee special?

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. These grains are characterized by their clarity of flavor, with bright and complex notes.

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. 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.

Ethiopian yirgacheffe is highly regarded for its clean, balanced and smooth flavor profile with hints of berries, nuts, chocolate, lemon and wine. Ethiopia's Harrar region is located in the eastern highlands and is home to some of the oldest coffee beans still grown. Produces tasty and aromatic dry processed coffee, also known as natural or unwashed coffee. Each region has its own distinct characteristics and flavor profile, but maintains the softness, bold acidity and slightly citrus flavor that Ethiopian Arabica coffee beans are best known for.

The fruity, lightly roasted flavor profile of Stone Street Coffee Company's Ethiopian yirgacheffe is a definite recommendation. 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. Ethiopia has incredible conditions to grow incredible coffee beans. Coffee plants have been growing in nature for a long time, and there are countless different varieties.

Very little is needed, for example, they do not use any additional chemicals, and the vegetation provides ample shade, naturally. The western region of Ethiopia produces Ghimbi coffee beans that are distinguished by their rich and sharp acidity and the complexity of flavors and aromas. 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. Surprisingly, there is more to discover than coffee beans harvested in the important coffee-producing regions of Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, Limu and Harrar.

Every day, Ethiopians hold various prolonged coffee ceremonies in which raw, unwashed coffee beans are transformed into cups of fragrant coffee. The entire region around Ethiopia produces coffee, including the neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and just across the red sea, Yemen. With this system, coffee harvested by farmers is delivered to local wet mills and sent to warehouses where they are sorted by region, physical qualities and tasting experience. Ethiopian coffee, which is extensively wet processed, comes from one of the three main growing regions: Sidamo, Harrar, Kaffa and often bears one of those names.

People who grow coffee in Ethiopia often face wild trees that have the benefit of growing hidden in shady places, among other plants, and there is no need to use agricultural chemicals to maintain the good yield of coffee trees. This region around the equator is endowed with mild temperatures and lots of rain, the optimal climate for growing coffee. All that experience means that coffee makers in Ethiopia are likely to use techniques that have proven to be winners after years of testing. Geisha is considered the most prestigious and valued variety of coffee in the world, as the queen of coffee.

Then the hostess fills the round-bottomed black clay pot with a long narrow neck called jebena with water and places it on the hot embers. Grades range from 1 to 9, with grade 1 or 2 coffees getting a specialty coffee designation and the rest a commercial coffee designation. As coffee trees grow naturally in Ethiopia, most coffees are in the shade, among other plants, and without the use of agricultural chemicals. Coffee beans are dry-processed and are usually labeled as peaberry (mocha), longberry and shortberry.

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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.