Why is Ethiopian coffee so 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.

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 coffee differs significantly from any coffee due to its diverse flavor profiles and unique tasting notes. Coffee beans are native to Ethiopia and are harvested from wild coffee trees that offer extreme flavors, as a result of natural mutations over time.

Most coffee beans are processed naturally, which has a significant impact on the overall taste of the coffee product. 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. The birthplace of coffee, my favorite toasts come from Ethiopia. Your grains are processed wet or dry and each method changes the flavor of the grain substantially.

Wet-processed coffee is lighter and lemony, while dry-processed coffee is richer and much more complex, often with strong berry and citrus notes. Ethiopian beans are unique in many ways. When it comes to roasting, they also seem to play by their own rules. 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. Not to say the variety may also be because coffee grows so wildly in some parts of Ethiopia that farmers cannot tell which variety they are growing. ECX improved coffee production and made it a stabilized asset by providing storage and marketing assistance. Sudanese slaves may chew coffee beans to help them survive the arduous journeys of the trans-Saharan slave trade.

With this story in mind, it's suddenly much easier to understand why Ethiopian coffee is so unique. Coffee from this region is dry-processed and has strong wine-like characteristics with complex fruit flavors and a rich body. Because of the altitude, SHG coffees grow more slowly, allowing more nutrients to be delivered to the coffee beans. Coffee is poured into small cups with added sugar, and incense is released into the air to drive out evil spirits.

Since then, farmers have simply labelled most of their coffee under a fairly generic variety called the “Ethiopian relic”. You can even find hints of almond, caramel and even a hint of lime to brighten up a rich toast, especially by Ethiopian standards. Its objective is to achieve a sustainable agricultural supply chain in coffee by focusing on the implementation of the track and trace system. 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.

This region around the equator is endowed with mild temperatures and lots of rain, the optimal climate for growing coffee. These plots usually cover less than one hectare of land and produce an average of around 300 kg of coffee per year. Ethiopian coffee is considered one of the best coffees in the world thanks to its high altitude growing conditions. The coffee that comes out of these few villages that comprise the yirgacheffe area is one of the most incredible, sweet and floral cafes in the world.

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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.