Ethiopia is the origin the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia is a land revered for its famous coffee beans. Ethiopia’s reputation is not only because it is the cradle of coffee but also because it produces the best coffee globally.
Some information about Ethiopian coffee (
Ethiopia – The origin of coffee
Back in the period around 850 AD. This is the milestone where a nomad goat herder – Kaldi, discovered coffee. Kaldi spotted her goat eating the coffee fruit and then dancing wildly. Curious and fascinated by this “magic” fruit, he brought it home to study.
The first time he shared information about this grain was with a monk. He threw the coffee beans into the fire and claimed it was a manifestation of magic. When the beans are exposed to fire, the coffee is roasted.
The whole room is filled with the seductive aroma of coffee. Perhaps because of this strange fragrance, it was considered magical. Interestingly, coffee flavor is discovered like that! Of course, coffee became a drink as it is now, only later forms.
Coffee trees have grown wild in Ethiopia for centuries. That means the coffee has been naturally produced and developed here instinctively for a long time. It is not the kind introduced locally by colonial empires like other coffee lands. So, it is not difficult to understand why Ethiopia is the home of coffee with the best coffee in the world!
Some relevant figures
The inherent environment in Ethiopia is so perfect that great coffee can be made without anything else. There are over a thousand different types of coffee grown in Ethiopia.
Coffee growing areas: Sidama, Yirgacheffe, Harrar, Limu, Djimma, Lekeemi, Wallega, Gimbi.
Popular coffee varieties: Kudhome, Gesha, Djimma…
Growing altitude: 1,500 – 1,800 m (above sea level)
Processing method: dry processing and wet processing
How to classify coffee: 9 levels called Grades. In there:
- Grades 1-2: Specialty Coffee
- Grades 3 – 9: Commercial product line
Harvest time: November to February.
Coffee production in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is the 5th largest coffee-producing country globally and the highest coffee-producing country in Africa.
Firstly, the southernmost province of Ethiopia – Sidamo/Sidama, is where the most coffee is grown. Yirgacheffe is famous for the farms that produce the best coffee in the world in this Sidama land.
Second, this land also has Guji located south of Sidamo. Guji is famous for having some of the best roasters in the world. They can create great flavors in your coffee.
Third, it is impossible not to mention Harrar, located in eastern Ethiopia. This is a famous land for producing coffee by dry processing method. Coffee from this region is renowned for its wild fruit flavors in the form of syrup.
Smallholder farmers produce most coffee. They sell coffee through ECX (The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange) – Commodity Exchange. The Ethiopian government established ECX in 2008.
Note: The role of the EXC. (coffee)
EXC can be understood as a commodity exchange where farmers can sell their coffee directly to buyers. This is a transparent, secure, and reliable trading system.
The advantage of this trading method is undeniable. However, roasters will find it challenging to backfire on the farm in quality and taste. This somewhat limits the market and the expansion of flavors demanded by customers.
So in 2017, the government allowed farmers to keep coffee and was allowed to auction it to collectors actively. This change will enable appraisers & purchasers to establish relationships with farms.
This event contributes positively to the promotion of the quality development of coffee. Moreover, it is also motivated to encourage farmers to invest more in farming and production. Because the better the coffee, the higher the price it sells.
Highlights of Ethiopian coffee
The biodiversity of species along with different varieties. So the combination has produced many unique coffee varieties, diverse in flavor. That makes Ethiopian coffee challenging to compete with.
The value of Ethiopian coffee
Ethiopian coffee is one of the most robust coffees globally—also the coffee with the most decadent and most complex flavors. According to experts, it deserves to become a world heritage site.
Before, coffee was seen as a super-profitable trade for Ethiopia. Then it is a cultural and religious symbol of this country.
Ethiopian coffee has always played the role of protagonist in several critical cultural ceremonies in this South African country. For example, the annual Ethiopian ceremony – Coffee Ceremony goes back centuries. Every morning, the woman in the family roasts fresh coffee in a clay pan, possibly with some flavoring. The coffee beans are finely ground and boiled in a traditional Jebena earthenware kettle.
Hot coffee is poured into cups for everyone in the family and guests to enjoy as a ritual. These ceremonies usually last about 2-3 hours.
When an Ethiopian offers you a cup of coffee, it means that they respect you very much. Offer coffee as a sign of their friendship and expression of affection. There is a famous Ethiopian saying: “Coffee is our bread.” That said, coffee for Ethiopians plays a vital role in life.
How to classify Ethiopian coffee (coffee)
As mentioned above, Ethiopian coffee is usually graded with grades called Grades (abbreviated as “G”). The classification is based on many factors: floor size, % breakable, moisture, impurities …
Grade 1 – Grade 1
This is the level for specialty coffee. At this level, coffee has almost no particular defects (less than three defect points).
About 90% of floor particles 18 (7.1mm), impurities 0.5%. Especially there is no mold bug and no strange smell. Humidity is only allowed in the range of 9 – 13%.
Grade 2 – Grade 2
This is also the level for specialty coffee. About 90% of floor beads are 16 (6.3mm): black error and martial grain maximum 2%, impurities 0.5%. Humidity is about 12.5%.
Grade 3 – 9
The remaining varieties that fall outside the two standards, grade 1 and grade 2, are not specialty coffees. It is listed as commercial coffee with low value.
Smell (coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee)
Ethiopian coffee is known famous for its fresh fruit and floral flavors. Ethiopian coffees are usually high in acidity; Flavors range from mild-medium to complex depending on the variety with different growing conditions.
The impression of Ethiopian coffee is the clarity of flavor, which shows off the most complex notes. Besides, brightness and positivity are always found in it.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is often compared with Kenyan coffee. But in fact, it isn’t easy to put on a scale to compare these two excellent coffees. Each kind of thing shines in its unique way. If Ethiopia is likened to classical music, Kenya is classic jazz. This example shows us that each is excellent, standing out to the world and its own “audience.”
Famous lands with recognizable flavors: Coffee
The rich land of Sidamo with diverse terrain has created a vibrant flavor for coffee. The coffee here has flavors from fruit to nuts, including herbs.
The highest coffee region in southern Ethiopia with an elevation of 1,700 to 2,200 above sea level. Yigacheffe is famous for producing some of the best coffee in the world. This is also a coffee that meets SHG/SHB standards.
Characteristic lemon and fruit flavors with gentle sweetness are always found in this region’s coffee.
- Lekempi, Wellega and Gimbi
This area uses both natural and wet processing methods. Therefore, the flavor is rich and unassuming compared to Sidamo and Yirgacheffe.
- Limu and Djimma
Coffee in Limu is wetly processed, and in Djimma, it is natural. Its flavor will be mild and has more outstanding qualities than coffee at Sidamo.
The land is hot all year round with a desert-like terrain that makes coffee stand out with an earthy smell. However, the coffee here is immensely appreciated because it has blueberry and fruit flavors. And in the top 10 best coffee in the world.
In particular, the pods of the coffee beans in this region are used to make a tea called cascara. The cascara flavor is fantastic and very different from leaf tea. This is a rather famous traditional product of Harrar.
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