What Is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee
Coffee from Ethiopia runs the gamut from full-bodied, sweet and fruity to lighter-bodied, citrusy and floral, depending on how it’s processed. When you hear people rave about coffee from the well-known Yirgacheffe region, they’re mainly referring to washed, or wet process, coffee. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is the coffee that’s delicate, floral, and tea-like, with shimmery citrus notes and a clean, light body. Washed Yirgs have a rather high-class, coffee-snob reputation andat a lower price point than Geishasthey’re a great gateway to appreciating specialty coffee .But what about the other kid sister of Ethiopian coffee beans, the natural processed Ethiopians, with their honey-thick body and bright, decadent berry flavor? Where’s their hype? Until recently, natural Yirgs have taken a back seat to their washed colleagues they’re generally seen as comparatively common, and of variable or unpredictable quality. Conventional wisdom holds that they’re suitable to brighten up a blend, perhaps, but far less favored as a single origin on the specialty market.We’re glad that’s changing! It’s time for natural processed Ethiopians to have their time in the sun .
Cultural Importance: Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
In many villages, coffee ceremonies are still considered one of the most important occasions to this day. It is common for the woman of a household to participate in numerous two or three-hour coffee ceremonies throughout the day in Ethiopia.
In fact, itâs viewed as one of the highest honors to be invited to a ceremony, morning, afternoon, or evening. These ceremonies may vary from region to region. However, the base format remains the same.
Unique Difference Of Yirgacheffe
Yirgachefffe is a specialty coffee that provides a sweet, fruity alternative to other brews. This coffee also attracts drinkers that are looking to avoid big box brands.
The use of chemicals to treat coffee in Ethiopia is illegal, resulting in a strong following of organic coffee lovers. Those looking for fair trade coffee options will be delighted by the wide variety of fair-trade brands on the market.
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Was Coffee First Consumed In Ethiopia Or Yemen
The first verified records of coffee being roasted and brewed was in Yemen, where 15th century Sufi monks drank coffee to keep them alert. Yemen enjoyed a close relationship with Ethiopia and was known to have imported coffee from Ethiopia via the port of Mocha .
At Black Ink, we feel as though Kaldi is a superhero and a day should be devoted to celebrating his life simply because he brought coffee to this crazy world!
The legend of Kaldi, the goat herder, is just a legend – but coffee beans may have indeed been eaten as a stimulant before people learned to drink it as a beverage.
What Are The Best Ethiopian Coffee Beans
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee is one of the best coffees in the world, it is characterized by a unique flavor and aroma that will ensure you get an exceptional coffee experience every day.
So, if you are a coffee lover looking for the best Ethiopian coffee ever and have no idea where to start, we are here to help you. In our list of the best 4 Ethiopian coffee beans, you will find everything you need to know about Ethiopian coffees.
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Out Of The Grey Ethiopian Oromia Yirgacheffe
- Dark Medium Roast
- Organic, Forest-Grown, Bird Friendly
Like Volcanica, Out of the Grey offers an authentic, rich Ethiopian bean sourced from indigenous coffee plants in Yirgacheffe. Maintaining Yirgacheffes characteristic sweet, crisp flavor profile, Out of the Greys Ethiopian bean offers both floral and chocolaty flavor notes.
Your taste buds will be delighted by Sandalwood and lychee notes coupled by smooth hints of cocoa and a hint of spice.
You probably wont find electricity or running water in the remote rainforest region where these beans are grown, but youll definitely find world-famous and authentic Ethiopian arabica beans.
Out of the Grey works with a small group of certified organic cooperatives known as the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union. These native farmers take pride in chemical-free intercropping, which means your beans are mingling with cardamom, ginger, papaya, mangoes, and even avocado before theyre hand-picked, roasted, and delivered to your door.
In fact, the cooperative produces 65% of the premium arabica beans in Ethiopia and was recognized by the Specialty Coffee Association of America for their unique varietals. In other words, Out of the Grey sourced the best of the best in the Ethiopian coffee bean business to deliver a cup of coffee that coffee addicts will swoon over.
Great Coffee Great Price Fast Shipping
I ordered this after my mother in law got me a 5lb bag for Christmas that I thoroughly enjoyed. I typically find Yirgacheffe a bit too fruity for my taste but this is roasted just a hair darker which brings out more of the roasty/caramel flavors that Im more inclined toward while maintaining a hint of sweetness on the finish which I find to be very enjoyable. I typically drink this black with an occasional splash of cream. Its great both ways and I have a full pot ~1.5L every morning.
The value for money here is excellent. I considered a Trade coffee subscription but at ~$15/lb that will only last a few days, thats not reasonable for how much coffee I go through. This roast is of excellent quality and reasonable price. More than what Id pay at the grocery store but infinitely more enjoyable.
Overall Id highly recommend unless youre accustomed to a more traditional lighter roast of Yirgacheffe.
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Best Ethiopian Coffee Beans Of 2022
Can you imagine being the first person to discover the treasured arabica bean?
Well, as legend has it, in 850 AD an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi did just that. While herding his goats, Kaldi stumbled upon the coffee plant and immediately took note of the surprising effects the plant had on his flock.
In fact, when Kaldi brought the charmed beans back to a local monastery, his peers were convinced the plant was an act of sorcery.
While any coffee devotee would agree that coffee beans are magical, actually roasting and drinking coffee beans wouldnt become popular for centuries.
Still, to this day, Ethiopia is recognized as the beloved birthplace of the Coffee Arabica bean and produces some of the most authentic, naturally grown coffee in the world.
Out of the Grey, Ethiopian Oromia Yirgacheffe
Origin And History Of Yirgacheffe Coffee
In Ethiopia, coffee is king. There are over 45,000 coffee farmers in Yirgacheffe alone, producing endless varieties and roasts of this gourmet coffee bean.
The harvesting season in Ethiopia lasts from October through April and produces an estimated 7.25 million 132-pound bags each year.
The Yirgacheffe coffee bean comes from the Sidoma region of southern Ethiopia, specifically the mountainous town of Yirgacheffe .
The coffee plants grow easily in this area because of the high elevation, healthy soil, and warm, tropical weather.
It is estimated that coffee was discovered around 850 AD, leading many to consider this region the birthplace of coffee. There are many legends about the discovery of coffee in Yirgacheffe.
Learn more about coffee in Ethiopia.
Yirgacheffe was the first region to use a wet-processing mill, pushing Ethiopia to the coffee industrys front due to this modern technique.
However, the early 2000s saw a great deal of political strife in Ethiopia, causing the price of coffee to drop dramatically in the last 20 years.
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Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Beans
Known for its sweet flavor and aroma with a light to medium body. Ethiopian Yirgacheffes are spicy and fragrant, and are frequently reviewed and rated as some of the highest quality Arabica coffees in the world. Their premium reputation also often means they carry a premium price, but even so, they offer better value for your money than other comparables .
- Growing Altitude: 1,700 – 2,200 meters above sea level
- Arabica Variety: Heirloom Varietals
- Flavor: Complex, Fruity, Tea, Floral, Lemon
Yirgacheffe coffees are available as both regular and Fair Trade Organic certified.
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, its 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 drinkers palate wanting more.
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Ethiopian Highlands: The Regions Of Ethiopia
You may have heard of names like Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, and Harar when buying Ethiopian coffee these are specially trademarked regional names that highlight their exceptional standing in the specialty coffee industry. Of course, there are many more coffee-growing regions in Ethiopia but they may be cultivating a mix of varietals without a single characteristic taste.
Here’s a quick table of the most popular Ethiopian coffees exported around the world – we’ll dive into a more detailed explanation on Ethiopian coffee production below!
Sweet, low acidity, hints of spice
Wet Processing Yirgcheffe Coffee
Ethiopian coffee is able to be processed without chemicals because of the climate. Beans can be developed through wet-processing or natural processing.
When processed naturally, coffee beans are harvested and then immediately dried in the sun, which results in a dry, earthy flavor. For Yirgacheffe beans, natural processing brings out the bitterness of the cherry.
Wet-processing was developed in Ethiopia in the 1970s and is considered a more modern technique and is essential to emphasize the clear profile of traditional Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans.
Wet-processing is also sometimes referred to as washed coffee because the process requires thorough washing. This intense cleaning of the coffee beans before they are dried produces a clear, fruity flavor.
The steps involved in wet-processing Yirgacheffe beans include:
- Harvesting: The beans should be harvested while they are still fresh and moist
- Cleaning: Remove the skin and pulp of the cherry from the bean
- Soaking: The cleaned beans should soak in a large tank immediately after being picked
- Sorting: Remove the dry beans that float to the top of the tank as they will change the flavor profile
- Drying: The cleaned beans can be dried in a machine or in the sun
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Ethiopia: The Birthplace Of Coffee
Legend has it that sometime in 850 CE, an Ethiopian goat herder by the name of Kaldi noticed his goats behaving oddly – prancing around and even “dancing” on their hind legs – after eating the bright red berries of a certain tree. Intrigued, Kaldi tried the berries himself and even brought them to a local monastery, where the monks found that roasting and boiling these berries produced a brew that kept them alert through their long prayer sessions.
Thanks to Kaldi and his dancing goats, the birth of coffee began.
While there’s no proof to this story, accounts of coffee being consumed as a beverage date back to the 9th century. Most historians also agree that Coffea arabica beans were exported from southwestern Ethiopia to Yemen, where they became widely cultivated and traded in the 15th century.
Since Ethiopia is where the coffee tree originates, it goes without saying that Ethiopian coffee enjoys the best growing conditions and produces some of the best coffee beans in the world. Let’s take a look at what you’re getting when you buy Ethiopian coffee.
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Ethiopian Coffee Production Methods
Buna dabo naw. “Coffee is our bread.” This well-known phrase in Ethiopia reflects the role of coffee in Ethiopian everyday life. Consider these facts:
- 384,000 Metric Tons of coffee produced as of 2019
- 15 million Ethiopians rely on coffee production for their livelihood
- $866 million revenue from coffee exports
Ethiopia isn’t just the birthplace of coffee – the country is also the 5th largest coffee producing country in the world and the top producer in Africa. Coffee production here dates back for centuries and is a vital part of Ethiopian culture and economy. Here’s how coffee production works in Ethiopia.
With nearly half a million metric tons being exported per year, Ethiopian coffee continues to be a dominating coffee force.
Most Ethiopian green coffee is processed using either a wet process or dry process, depending on the growing region. In some regions, both processes may be used to bring out different flavors in the coffee.
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The Story Of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Beans
Ethiopia in East Africa is the birthplace of Coffee. According to legend, it was here, hundreds of years ago, that a goat herder stumbled upon the beans.
He had observed his flock grazing on an unknown plant, their energy levels boosted, and so he decided to try it for himself. When news spread, people thought it was the work of dark forces. The truth is that it was Caffeine in Coffee.
Today, the Ethiopian Coffee industry employs some 15 million people for various aspects of production. Harvesting takes place at elevations between 1,500 and 2,200 metres above sea level, starting in November and ending in February.
The beans from the country account for around 3% of the global Coffee market – and they are becoming increasingly trendy every year.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Taste Characteristics
Exotic as its origin, the matchless Ethiopian Yirgacheffe knows how to balance the succulent and herby taste with the floral aroma, cupped in a complex, rich body. With every sip, youll experience a bright beginning, a citrus sweetness in the middle, to end up with a clean finish without any acidic aftertaste.
When you think of Ethiopian coffees you think of romance. This particular variety of Arabica coffee evokes the truly African spirit, with the pronounced taste of tropical fruits mixing spices and herbs, almost smelling like wine. Thats how an authentic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe gets its character. The exotic coffee beans, carefully hand-crafted and harvested for centuries, melts in a sweetly-citrus, delicate black tea like finish.
The wet-processed varieties of Yirgacheffe taste cleaner than the naturally processed beans. The naturally processed coffee beans yield the sharp chocolaty flavour and the fruity notes, while washed beans have a citrus acidity coupled with a light-bodied taste, an undertone of spices, which youll simply adore.
Ethiopian coffee distributors cater to your coffee-craving desire, helping you opt from the diverse cupping notes and blends. Thats how you get to know the complex coffee profiles of the micro-region, single-origin coffees.
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Ethiopian Coffee Review: Best Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
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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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