It is sometimes called the Roof of Africa due to the height and largest continuous elevation area on the continent. Danakil Depression, Lake Tana, and Great Rift Valley are some of the astonishing landmarks that you will find in Ethiopia.
But aside from these thrilling facts, do you know what made Ethiopia famous? Coffee. Keep reading to learn all about Ethiopian coffee.
What is so Special about Ethiopian Coffee?
Ethiopia has supplied some of the world’s best-reviewed single-origin premium coffee beans for hundreds of years.
The Arabica plant is native to Ethiopia, and according to legend, it was first discovered by a goat-herder who noticed his flock getting energized after eating berries from this plant. Although this story wasn’t recorded till 1671, it’s still a romantic story, fitting for the discovery of the world’s favorite beverage.
Ethiopia is currently the 5th largest coffee producer in the world, accounting for 3% of global coffee production and is the leading coffee grower in Africa. Half of the Ethiopian coffee beans are consumed locally, while the rest are exported to the EU, East Asia, and North America. Most Ethiopian beans are single-origin and known for their floral and fruity flavors with high acidityand balanced body.
More Genetics More FLAVORS
With this history in mind, it’s suddenly a lot easier to understand why Ethiopian coffee is so unique. While the rest of the world’s coffee, to some extent, is derived from the few plants that were stolen from Yemen back in the day, there is a significant genetic variation among the coffee plants in Ethiopia.
It’s anticipated that more than 90 per cent of the genetic material of Coffee Arabica is located in just that one country. Therefore, you can find more variation in flavor in Ethiopian coffee than anywhere else.
Unique Character of Ethiopian Coffee Beans
- Ethiopian coffee beans are known for their complexity, pungent aroma, winey quality, and distinct acidity.
- It is believed to be one of the best coffee globally because the coffee is grown in high altitudes and near-perfect climate conditions.
- Cultivated in mountainside farms with an elevation between 1500 and 2200 meters (5000-7200 feet) above sea level.
- 90% of Ethiopian coffee is hand-picked in forests or small plots of land, and just 10% of the coffee beans come from commercial farming.
- Still, Coffee in Ethiopia grows ‘wild’ and is picked just like mushrooms and blueberries from the wild.
- Ethiopia wild coffee is mixed with hundreds of varietals combined in one bag and cannot be separated again. Most coffee farms in Ethiopia grow the heirloom variety of ‘Coffee Arabica,’ the ‘queen’ of all coffees.