Why does Ethiopia have the best coffee?

They are grown in places with perfect soil, perfect altitude and microclimates that are really suitable for coffee processing, such as drying and things like that. Finding the best quality beans is often a matter of taste. 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. 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. 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. Within the Sidamo region is the beloved Yirgacheffe, a small town whose nearby farms consistently produce some of the best coffee in the world. Many producers in this region of Ethiopia favor the wet processing method.

This produces a bright coffee, higher in acidity with a light body and a sweet fruity taste and floral notes. 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. 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. Not surprisingly, Ethiopia has the ideal growing environment to produce fantastic coffee.

High elevations and mountainous regions make growing conditions excellent. More than a thousand varieties of coffee beans are grown in Ethiopia. As coffee trees grow naturally in Ethiopia, most coffees are in the shade, among other plants, and without the use of agricultural chemicals. For example, Ethiopian beans contain 1.13% caffeine.

Compared to Robusta beans, which have a caffeine content of 2.4%, Ethiopian beans have almost less than half that content. If you compare Ethiopian beans to their decaffeinated counterparts, the former obviously has more caffeine. The decaffeination process removes at least 97% of the caffeine content of coffee. Therefore, theoretically, Ethiopian decaffeinated beans would have a maximum caffeine content of 0.0339%.

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. 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. True or apocryphal history, Ethiopia's coffee production system flourished from 1800 to the present.

In fact, the country has recorded the names, and even once had a legal battle with Starbucks over the exploitation of this Ethiopian heritage. Most of these beans are collected from wild coffee trees in the yirgacheffe region of southern Ethiopia, which is known for its traditional varieties of arabica coffee plants and the floral and fruity coffees they produce. Ethiopians also do well in an espresso blend or as a single-origin drink, but in my humble opinion, manual brewing is where they really shine. There are three main coffee-producing regions in Ethiopia, and each coffee-producing region produces a truly different coffee.

Ethiopian soil is rich in nutrients that meet the demands of Coffea Arabica for growing excellent coffee cherries. Ethiopia is located along the world coffee belt between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. Most coffee is simply labeled as Ethiopian relic, a general term to describe all Ethiopian coffee variants. Ethiopia is the fifth largest coffee producing nation in the world and the most producing nation in Africa.

Most coffees in Ethiopia are processed naturally, which means they are dried with the cherry fruit still attached to the coffee bean. Interestingly, even with such a high volume, the methods in which Ethiopian coffee is produced have not changed much since the 10th century. While the rest of the world's coffee is, to some extent, derived from the few plants that were stolen from Yemen in the previous days, there is substantial genetic variation among coffee plants in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is where the frequently told story originates, of a goat farmer who noticed strange behavior in his herd of goats after eating berries from a certain tree.

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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.