Ethiopian Coffee Beans - A world of flavour

Ethiopian Coffee Beans - A world of flavour

Ethiopian Coffee Beans Ceremony Image

Ethiopian Coffee Beans - A world of flavour

Ethiopia is almost universally known as the birthplace of the coffee bean, although it's probable that the plant (latin name: Coffea arabica) originally migrated from the Sudan and only flourished once it reached Ethiopia due to the more favourable conditions. Coffee production back then would have mainly been the harvest of wild coffee trees in the districts of Kaffa and Buno, and this is possibly where the term "coffee bean" originated. As we know, it is not really a bean at all but the seed of a fruit and at least this origin story contains some plausibility. We will never know whether it is true or not.

Coffees from Ethiopia include the very well known Yirgacheffe and Sidamo. Both are high quality coffees and recommended for those who appreciate the fruity and almost floral qualities inherent in beans from this origin. Ethiopian coffee beans have an almost tea-like quality that is unique to this region.

Most of the beans in Ethiopia are of the washed variety, which results in a clean tasting cup with very few defects. The washing process is relatively quick, affording the beans very little time to rot.


Ethiopian coffee ceremony

Such is their love for coffee that the Ethiopians have their own ceremony that they ritualistically perform three times a day. It is a long process where the Ethiopian coffee beans are roasted and then brewed in a special pot called a 'jebena' along with some spices. The coffee is served and then more hot water added for a second brew. This process is repeated for a third time to result in a weaker brew at each stage. It is said that the transformation of spirit takes place during the ceremony, with each round being given a name: 'Abol' for the first round, 'Tona' for the second and 'Baraka' for the third.

Ethiopian coffee beans benefit from a light or medium roast and are perfect if brewed using a V60 or similar conical filter or maybe a French Press (cafetiere to you and me). If you want to try some out, we have a great Ethiopian Yirgacheffe in stock.

Photo By Steve Evans (Flickr: Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony 001) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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