Get 20% Off Our Ethiopia Single Origin
This exquisite microlot is from brothers Asefa and Mulugeta Dukamo who own Daye Bensa export company. Daye Bensa serves about 381 smallholder farmers growing and harvesting coffee in and around Keramo, Sidama, Ethiopia, a place known for its rich vegetation and climate. Keramo farmers have built a reputation for picking only red cherries, and in 2020 Daye Bensa Coffee earned a Cup of Excellence award.
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Ethiopian Coffee Beans: Distinctive Features
Ethiopian coffees grow at high elevations, producing a hard, dense bean. Denser beans tend to have more sugars and flavour precursors, which translates to more flavour after roasting. To choose an effective roast profile, knowing the bean density is key. This will determine the charge temperature , and help determine the flavour of the cup.
Ethiopian coffee tends to produce beans that are smaller than other origin varieties . This, in addition to variations in bean size, makes it tricky to roast them without losing their delicate and nuanced flavours. Its not a predictable or forgiving bean, and the roasting process needs constant monitoring. Its a fine balancing act.
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Paul Arnephy smells beans to determine the degree of roast. Credit:Goncalo Silva
For further insight into how Ethiopian beans differ from others, I spoke to Paul Arnephy, who is the Q-Grader Arabica, AST Trainer, and co-founder and Head Roaster of Lomi Roastery and Café in Paris.;
He explained that Ethiopia is distinct from all other producing countries because of the flavour profiles that can be found, production methods , the countrys history, and of course the plethora of plant diversity. He added that while Ethiopian beans have some common attributes, the flavour profiles are seriously regional.
Paul recommends the following three books for a closer look into the complex world of Ethiopian coffee:
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Washed Grade 1 Coffee 100% Arabica Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans
- Fragrant and floral with wine and fruit overtones, the Yirgacheffe is one of the most prized East African coffees!
- When roasted to a medium-dark level, it has a smooth medium body and long, lingering finish.
- Fresh Roasted Each Morning & Shipped in the Afternoon! Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is one of the worlds most sought after coffees.
- Since Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and it has embedded history as the first coffee growing region, it’s no wonder these beans are incredibly popular.
- Offering a softly fragrant aroma, these coffee beans have a subtle floral scent and a satisfyingly intensified finish that would leave any coffee drinker’s palate wanting more.
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When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Ethiopian Coffee Beans
Before we dive in and explain when the best time of year to buy Ethiopian coffee beans is, theres something you need to know about Ethiopia
You see, Ethiopia is to coffee what the Vatican is to Catholics. Its the homeland. Its where it all began, the beginning of the story of coffee. Arabica plants were first discovered in Abyssinia by Kaldi, an Abyssinia goatherd, who lived around AD 850.
As the story goes, Kaldi observed his goats prancing excitedly after chewing on red berries that were growing on bushes nearby. So he tried some himself. After much elation, he filled his pockets and ran home to spread the news of his discovery. He presented the berries to the chief Monk at a monastery near Lake Tana, who immediately threw them in the fire and demanded Kaldi to leave.
But, after a few moments, an aroma spread through the monastery like wildfire. The smell of roasting coffee was enough for the chief Monk to rescue the beans and place them in hot water overnight by way of preservation. The next morning, the monks awoke and drank the fragmented brew, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Interesting backstory, right?
Drinking Ethiopian coffee, then, is any coffee-lovers right of passage. Time must be put aside, and phones must be turned off. Its an experience to savor, not a casual pick me up after a hard day at work.
But whens the best time to buy beans?
The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
Coffee doesnt just play a significant role in Ethiopias economy but also its culture. There is what is known as an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, done in some parts of the country. This ceremony is two to three hours long and is performed up to three times a day! Its a sign of respect and friendship to be invited to one. Heres how it works.
The woman of the house welcomes guests into her home by preparing them coffee from scratch.
Green coffee beans are manually cleaned, roasted, ground, and brewed. Then, the host pours her guests up to three rounds of coffee. The roast tends to be super dark and often burnt because its homemade.
And as the hostess drinks with her guests, they can hang out and talk about politics, gossip, or any relevant topics in their community.
As the beans are nearly murdered during this process, it isnt done for a deeper appreciation of Ethiopian coffee. Rather, being a traditional ceremony due to the countries rich history with the plant.
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Ethiopian Coffee Growing Stats
Want some context about why coffees so important to Ethiopia?
Here are some facts, courtesy of Wikipedia:
- Ethiopian coffee represents around 3% of the global coffee supply.
- Its the seventh largest producer of coffee in the world, and the biggest African producer.
- Around 260,000 metric tonnes of the stuff were grown in 2006.
- Ethiopians know when theyre onto a good thing! Around half of the annual production is retained for domestic use.
- Around 4,000 square kilometers of the country are dedicated to coffee cultivation.
- 15 million of the population rely on the industry as their main source of income.
- In 2006, coffee exports were worth $350 million to the country around 34% of 2006s total exports.
Street Coffee And Other Restaurants
Finally, another delightful option for coffee shops in Addis Ababa are the infinite hole in the wall coffee;shops.
In tiny little closet sized shops;youll find vendors roasting, pounding, and brewing coffee in the traditional jebena clay coffee pot.
They serve coffee black, with sugar mixed in. The traditional type of Ethiopian coffee at street food stalls is incredibly delicious, and its always a fun experience.
Price cups cost around 5 ETB
Also, at most restaurants you eat at in Addis Ababa, such as Kategna, youll be able to order either western style steam machine coffees or traditional coffees.
The best thing about drinking coffee in Ethiopia is that youre never far from coffee.
Some countries Ive visited, you wake up in the morning and worry a little about where youre going to find a good cup of coffee , but in Ethiopia, theres no need to worry. Coffee is always right around the corner!
When it comes to the best;coffee shops and where to buy coffee beans in Addis Ababa my top choices are both TO.MO.CA;and Mokarar.
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The Coffee Aficionados Cup Of Tea
According to the Barista Institute, one unusual but fascinating aspect of enjoying Ethiopian coffee is that while we might know which region the coffee came from, itâs nearly impossible to tell the variety.
The story goes that Panamanians once stole the legendary Geisha variety, which is considered the most prestigious and valued in the world.
Since then, farmers have simply labeled most of their coffee under a rather generic variety called âEthiopian Heirloom.â
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Temperature Increase Rate & Roasting Level
A gentle temperature increase and careful monitoring throughout the process will help you bring the best out of your beans. In addition, a light roast will allow their flavours and acidity to shine.
With Ethiopian coffee, the roaster needs to keep in mind that youre trying to settle on a delicious average bean development for all the beans in the drum. mainly due to screen size differences and often unknown varietals comprising a lot, says Paul.
To navigate these complexities and preserve the delicate and nuanced flavour profile of specialty grade beans, he recommends a relatively low rate of temperature increase during first crack, for washed and natural beans. Always keep in mind that naturals tend to darken faster than washed coffees.;
A slow, temperature-controlled roast is ideal for Ethiopian coffee beans. Credit: Puxan
Sometimes Its Better To Be Lucky Than Smart
More than likely, however, the story of Kaldi is fictional, and the reality is a bit less surprising.
The Ethiopian nomadic mountain peoples of the Galla tribe gathered the coffee beans, ground them up, and mixed them with animal fat, forming nutritious balls of energy that served to sustain them over long journeys.
Other indigenous tribes of Ethiopia ate the beans as a porridge or drank a wine created from the fermented, crushed coffee beans.
Coffee shops in the 15th century quickly became a favored meeting place.
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Wild Coffee Sidamo Medium Roast
Like Volcanicas Yirgacheffe, Wild Coffee puts a big emphasis on freshness when it comes to selling its Sidamo medium roast.
Stocks are kept deliberately low, with the roasters ordering in just enough to meet demand. That reduces the time between roasting and brewing.
- Local and fresh: Wild coffee is artisan roasted locally in Austin, Texas, and hand-delivered to us in…
- USDA organic, fair trade, single-origin: all Wild coffee is organic, fair trade and coming from…
- The Wild standard for purity: all Wild Foods products are sourced as close to the farm level as possible,…
It also ticks the important boxes in terms of organic production and Fair Trade credentials.
As a brand, Wild Coffee has a good reputation for supporting small-scale farmers too. They make sure everyone is well rewarded for making awesome coffee.
As for the beans themselves, they have an extraordinary aroma that tells you instantly youre in for a killer cup of coffee.
The flavor is bright but not overwhelmingly acidic. I think its stronger than the average medium roast as well, but by no means to its detriment.
As for the little touches in the flavor profile, you can expect to uncover nutty, almost caramel-like notes as you sip away. Yum yum.
The Best Coffee Shops In Addis Ababa Ethiopia
If you drink coffee, you probably already know that Ethiopian coffee is perhaps the best in the world.
So one of the best;activities to do in Addis Ababa is to search out the best coffee shops in the best coffee country in the world.
Not only will you want to drink as many cups of the goodness as possible while in Ethiopia, but its also a must;to purchase coffee beans in Addis Ababa to bring back wherever you may be going.
In fact, Im still sparingly nursing;my Ethiopian coffee beans from my latest trip to Ethiopia Im drinking Harar coffee as I write this.
I drank a lot of coffee when I was in Ethiopia I barely even slept I was wired my entire trip, and I was able to sample some wonderful coffee.
So here are 5 different Addis Ababa coffee shops where you can not only get a winning cup of coffee, but at some of them you;can also buy great coffee beans to bring home.
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Mycuppa Specialty Coffee Beans
mycuppa.com.au offers Australia best value online shopping experience for your fresh roasted premium coffee beans, drinking chocolate and delicious teas. We are Australia’s largest provider of specialty coffees to the online market. Winner of 30 medals, we use “best-in-class” roasting equipment. it is also our mission to source the best green beans from estates, certified FAIRTRADE, Organic and Rainforest Alliance growers. This makes it possible for consumers to buy coffee online at super-competitive prices.
Operating 24×7, mycuppa pioneered the practice of applying roast dates to coffee bags in 2007. This is so you can be assured of freshness. Coffee is a fresh food, it needs to be used within weeks of roasting, not months. There’s no need to put up with stale imported or supermarket coffee. You can buy fresh roasted coffee online, as we roast six days a week. Needless to say, we are passionate about the quality of coffee we sell to our clients. We are proud of the specialty coffee beans we are able to provide them.
A Concept We Still Hold Dear Today
In contemporary Ethiopia, old customs still hold true.
The green coffee beans are roasted on an open flame and then ground in a mortar and pestle. After a boiling and screening process, the coffee is served as itâs meant to be: amongst family and friends amidst conversation and relaxation.
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Types Of Ethiopian Coffee
Firstly, you should know that there are two main types of coffee grown in Ethiopia: garden and mountain. These divisions refer to the landscape on which the coffee is grown. Some people also divide Ethiopian Coffee into forest/shade-grown, semi-forest/shade-grown, garden grown, and plantation coffee.;
Regardless of these designations, most Ethiopian Coffee farms were started by farmers who harvested wild beans and eventually transplanted beans to a more desirable area. The result is a coffee industry that is dominated by small farms.
Arrival Times Into The United States
The disparity between harvest and arrival is for good reason, however. For instance:
- ;;;;;Coffee has to be;graded based on quality by producers.
- ;;;;;Coffee quality managers have to work through a variety of samples to source the best coffee for their shops.
- ;;;;;Some beans are left longer to dry in the sun encased in their berries . Other beans are washed .;Read here to find out the difference between the two.
For the United States, then, coffee most often arrives between June and August, according to;Royal Coffee:
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Best Buy Ethiopian Compostable Nespresso Coffee Capsules
Floral, Sweet & Bright | Strength 6/12 | Ristretto / Espresso
A Which? Magazine Best Buy and a 2-Star Great Taste 2020 Award makes this the UKs highest and best rated coffee capsule, with one judge saying delivers amazing flavours and this complex and characterful coffee has it!
Grown as a garden coffee in smallholder plots in the world-renowned coffee region of Yirgacheffe, enjoy floral, sweet, bright flavours and aromas.
Klatch Coffee Ethiopian Halo Beriti
- Light Roast
Fun fact If youre scouring the shelves for a premium Ethiopian Yirgacheffe bean and find coffee beans sourced from Gedeb, its more or less the same thing. Gedeb is a well-known coffee woreda or district in Yirgacheffe that according to Klatch Coffee, is an award-winning coffee growing territory.
This might be the only light roast on the list, but Klatch Coffees Ethiopian brew still offers the same distinct fruity profile of an authentic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe bean. In fact, this bean delivers subtle, zesty flavors of cherry and papaya coupled by drawn-out notes of mango.
Klatch Coffee sources their beans organically through a third-generation family owned business that is credited for several charitable efforts, including educational opportunities and healthcare for local coffee growers.
Not to mention, Klatch Coffee has connections that allow them to partner with the first and only private state-of-the-art SCA Certified coffee quality control lab on the continent. So, if youre looking for premium Ethiopian beans that aims to make a difference, this Gedeb bean is for you.
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Ethiopian Coffee Growing Regions
Ethiopia is the heavyweight of African coffee, and one of the top coffee producing countries in the world. Several distinct coffee growing regions exist within Ethiopia, each of which carry their own reputations and trademarks.
Perhaps the most well known Ethiopian coffee region is the district of Yirgacheffe. If you’ve heard of any specific Ethiopian coffee, it’s probably this one. Yirgacheffe coffee beans are considered to be some of the best in the world by coffee connoisseurs.
Sick of hearing about Yirgacheffe yet? You’ll be happy to know that the Sidamo region has plenty to of other wonderful options to explore, and there are also a number of other lesser known regions of Ethiopia that produce worthy coffee beans. You’ll find a varied selection in our list below!
When it comes to African coffee, go for the Ethiopian beans!
About Garden Of Coffee
After more than a decade building SoleRebels into an internationally recognized brand, Bethlehem Alemu has turned to her birthplace of Ethiopia to enter into the specialty coffee market.
Garden of Coffee claims to be the total opposite of normal factory roasting.
They source the finest beans from across Ethiopia , at which point these are then re-selected by a team of the world’s best artisan hand roasters.
The coffee is then prepared and roasted per individual order on clay roasters inside their roasting facility located in Addis Ababa.
Garden Of Coffee promises you will experience the rarest, freshest and highest quality single origin Ethiopian coffees, as Ethiopia is home to literally thousands of yet undiscovered varietals.
Among their offers is the unique hand roasted coffee which is an Ethiopian tradition that involves multiple skills and elements that produce a great roast.
Another stand out feature on offer is their on-demand hand roasting model, which basically means Garden of Coffee’s experts roast their coffee only for each specific order .
You can experience this in their cafes located in Ethiopia, as well as, to be opened in major cities around the world. For those wanting to enjoy the coffee at home, Garden of Coffee can also pack and ship it.
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