Origin of coffee
Coffee Arabica grew wild in the forests of south western Ethiopia. Its special qualities only became known to man about 1000 years ago. An Ethiopian story says that an Abyssinian goat herder called ‘Kaldi’ noticed how frisky his goats became after consuming coffee berries.
He then decided to try some himself. He passed his discovery on to a monk, who transplanted the berries near his monastery perfected his roasting, grinding and brewing process and found that coffee helped to keep monks awake and alert during their devotions.
Since then coffee drinking entered in Ethiopian social life. Coffee was used in meetings, celebrations, and mourning’s and to ward off drowsiness. Today the coffee ceremony -where coffee is roasted, grounded and brewed -is a centre to Ethiopian social life.
What makes Ethiopian coffee Unique?
- Organic farming
- Abundance of shade-grown coffee
- Expansive and suitable environments of varying climates
- Farmers’ traditional knowledge and experience
- Possibility to promote single origin specialty coffees
- Modern coffee marketing through Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX).
- Cultivars with varied coffee content
- Natural coffee forests - UNESCO Biosphere Reserves
Ethiopia’s Coffee Varieties
Ethiopian coffees are recognized worldwide for their level of quality and exquisite flavor. The varieties are named as the place where they grow & presented as follows with their unique characters.
Flavor - Floral, medium to firm acidity, full and round tactile sensation, sweet, gourmet flavor and aroma
Bean - Medium size, compact, dense, round to oval ends, grayish-bluish color wet processing
Flavor - Spicy, medium to lively, firm acidity, rich and round tactile sensation, balanced and sweet
Bean - medium size, greenish-grayish color, Bourbon and typical cultivars Dry processing
Flavor - Sweet, spicy, winy flavor, delicate to lively acidity, round and rich in body and well balanced
Bean - medium size, oval to oblong with round/pointed ends, greenish color
Flavor - medium acidity, full body and deep mocha flavor
Bean - medium to long size, pointed ends, greenish to yellowish-golden color
Flavor - high acidity and body, pleasant after taste
Bean - medium to bold, oval and thick
Flavor - moderately bold, soft to medium acidity, rich body, almond/nutty flavor, suitable for blends
Bean - oval to oblong with rounded or pointed ends with wide center cut, less compact, greenish color
Flavor - soft acidity. Rich body, nutty flavor with smooth, clean finish
Bean - large and bold with moderately soft texture and wider center cut
Flavor - clean, slightly fruity acidity mocca flavor, suitable for blends
Bean - Large, greenish to brownish color