Ethiopia has been producing coffee for centuries. With its rich soil and mountainous landscape, the country has an abundance of regions with an ideal environment for growing coffee. Consequently, Ethiopia is a large producer of Arabica coffee. Below I discuss some of the best Ethiopian coffee for you to try:
- My Top Ethiopian Coffee Recommendations
- Features to Consider for Ethiopian Coffee
- Frequently Asked Questions
My Top Ethiopian Coffee Recommendations
Ethiopian coffee is one of the finest coffees in the world. It is characterized by its bright mouthfeel and fruity flavors. The premium-grade, single-origin coffee beans also have a higher than average acidity that produces an intensely flavored cup.
Check out my following detailed guide to help you decide which is the best Ethiopian coffee for you:
Best Overall Ethiopian Coffee: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe by Volcanica Coffee
The Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Organic Whole Bean Coffee is the only medium roast on my list. Most of the beans come from the wild Yirgacheffe region, which has an exceedingly high reputation for producing high-quality coffee. However, the rest of the beans are sourced from single farms or estates, which may lack the authenticity of the Yirgacheffe beans.
Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee has a delicious floral and fruity taste with lemon, blueberry, and blackberry flavor notes and rich chocolatey undertones. Despite the light-medium body and a medium mouthfeel, the brew has a complexity and an intense aroma that heightens your senses.
The best part about the brand is that it freshly roasts its coffee right before shipping it, unlike any other brand on my list. As a result, you get the freshest coffee in a sealed bag that preserves the freshness. You can enjoy the ground beans as a pour-over or put them through a French Press to experience the brightness of the coffee.
Since the beans are plucked from the wild, they are mostly organic and come with a Fair Trade certification. This ensures that the farmers receive fair wages and the harvesting is done through sustainable agricultural practices.
- Organic beans collected from wild coffee trees
- Freshly roasted and shipped for the freshest-tasting brew
- Requires time to extract the most flavors out of the beans, using a slow brew
- Green coffee is safe but there are some underlying potential risks if consumed in excessive quantity
- 100% Pure Ethiopian Coffee Beans - Yirgacheffe, Medium-bodied and brilliantly acidy with rough,...
- USDA Organic, Medium/Light Roast whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through...
- Fresh roasted then immediately packed and sealed to assure freshness.
Best Light Roast Ethiopian Coffee: Ethiopian Sidamo By Fresh Roasted Coffee
The Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Organic Ethiopian Sidamo has a light roast that creates an excellent brew. The beans are sourced from family-owned and -operated farms located in the southern parts of Ethiopia. Since the coffee plants are indigenous to the region, you get to experience the true taste of the coffee untempered throughout the centuries.
Fresh Roasted Ethiopian Sidamo coffee has an earthy yet delicate flavor. It has a predictable yet appreciated acidity with berry undertones and a vibrant aftertaste. The mild-bodied beans present a creamy mouthfeel and nuttiness, dominated by the intensely sweet blueberry taste. Needless to say, the coffee lives up to the diverse flavors of the Sidamo region.
The organic coffee is Fair Trade and USDA certified. The certification helps ensure the customers that it is sustainably sourced, keeping the welfare of the farmers and the environment in consideration.
The company has a unique roasting process, where all of its coffee beans are roasted in the Loring Roaster, which is environmentally friendly. However, unlike Volcanica, the packaging has no roast date that guarantees that the beans are recently roasted.
- Organic beans that come with Fair Trade and USDA certifications
- Beans are roasted in the Loring Roaster that has a comparatively reduced carbon footprint
- There is no roast date on the packaging to indicate that the beans are freshly roasted
- The mild flavor from the light roast is not liked by everyone
- ORGANIC ETHIOPIAN SIDAMO COFFEE IS TRULY EXCEPTIONAL With An Earthy Flavor and Notes of Blueberry....
- USDA ORGANIC. FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED. Single-Origin From Sidamo, Ethiopia. Light Roast. Naturally...
- ALL FRESH ROASTED COFFEE IS Kosher Certified, Sustainably Sourced and Proudly Roasted, Blended, and...
Best Ground Ethiopian Coffee: Ethiopian Bold Light Roast By Cooper’s Cask
The Cooper’s Cask’s Ethiopian Bold Light Roast Grade 1 is the perfect option for those who like to buy their coffee pre-ground. The light roast beans are individually profiled to ensure only Grade 1 green Ethiopian coffee beans are roasted. This is the highest grade of beans in a grading system that goes from 1 to 5.
The coffee has an intensely vibrant flavor profile, with notes of lemon tart, floral nectar, and raw honey. The sweetly-tart brew also has a bright, tantalizing aroma. It is available in four convenient grind sizes (French Press, espresso, drip, and Turkish).
The beans are then roasted in small batches to ensure even roasting. However, there is no roast date mentioned on the packaging, similar to the Fresh Roasted Coffee.
The beans are Fair Trade and Organic certified. The single-origin coffee is also a micro-lot, which means that the coffee beans are sourced from a particular farm or field in Ethiopia. This ensures a consistent-tasting cup every time.
Moreover, this is the only company on my list that offers Farm Gate beans, which is a program that pays higher premiums to the farmers for producing excellent quality coffee.
- Organic and Fair Trade coffee beans, sourced through the Farm Gate program, which works for farmers’ welfare
- Micro-lot coffee for a consistent flavor
- Small batch roasting that allows for easy monitoring of the process
- No roast date on the packaging to guarantee a fresh roast
- The roasting process is not environmental-friendly, as it emits carbon dioxide into the environment unlike the Loring Roaster
- Single-Origin Coffee: Ground Ethiopian Bold Light Roast Coffee, 100% Single Origin Coffee. An...
- Vibrant Taste Profile: Intensely bright and clean, lemon tart, raw honey, floral nectar.
- Quality Sourced Beans: We profile each lot Coffee Beans (Grade 1). If it doesn't meet our high...
Features to Consider for Ethiopian Coffee
The various varieties of Ethiopian coffee available in the market get their flavors from their origin, type of roast, and processing method. However, they all have a higher acidity, light to medium body, and citrusy, floral notes. Following is a detailed look at the factors affecting the taste of Ethiopian coffee.
|Volcanica Coffee Company||Fresh Roasted Coffee||Cooper’s Cask|
|Taste||Complex, with lemon, blueberry, blackberry notes||Earthy, with berry and nutty notes||Complex, with lemon, floral, and honey notes|
Ethiopia is the largest coffee-producing nation in Africa, with three prominent regions that produce the best coffee:
- Sidamo: It is located in the southeastern part of the country at a high altitude with optimum rainfall and ideal temperature levels. All of these attributes, along with the soil quality, contribute to the high quality of the beans with a full body and distinct acidity. The Fresh Roasted Coffee on my list comes from this region.
- Yirgacheffe: Even though it is actually a small town situated within the Sidamo region, Yirgacheffe has its unique identity for producing one of the best and consistently amazing coffees in the world. The coffee from this region has a light to medium body, with a bright citrusy taste and complex aroma evident in the Volcanica coffee on my list.
- Harrar: It is located in the east of Ethiopia and consists of numerous small farms at a high elevation. The coffee produced in this region has a full body, medium acidity, and an intense, pungent fruity flavor similar to wine.
Learn about the differences in Ethiopian coffee compared to a Latin American cup of joe.
Ethiopian coffee is rarely roasted towards the darker spectrum. This is because the coffee has such a vibrant taste that a dark roast will mute the original characteristics and flavor profile of the beans. Thus, the farmers prefer a light or medium roast to highlight the flavor clarity.
I have also prioritized light to medium roasted Ethiopian coffees on my list. These give you the most authentic Ethiopian taste with the perfect balance between the vivid acidity and floral sweetness, along with a medium body.
The processing method has a significant impact on the final taste of the brew. The Ethiopian coffee is either wet- or dry-processed:
- Wet-processing (washed): During this process, the coffee cherries are washed after harvesting and the softened pulp covering the beans is mechanically removed. Once the beans are washed, then they are dried. The brew made from washed beans has a very clean taste and it is also lighter on the palate.
Wet-processing is a fairly new method that is still evolving, with the invention of newer and better machinery.
- Dry-processing (natural): During this process, the coffee beans are dried right after harvesting, with the fruit still left on the beans. Consequently, the beans are infused with more prominent fruity notes and dark chocolate undertones.
Most Ethiopian coffees are naturally processed as has been the custom for centuries. Both Volcanica and Fresh Roasted Coffee on my list are naturally processed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Different Types of Ethiopian Coffee?
Ethiopian coffee beans are of the species Coffea Arabica. These coffee beans can be divided into three categories known as Longberry, Shortberry, and Mocha. Longberry has the largest beans and is characterized as of the highest quality. Shortberry follows it in terms of size and quality, while Mocha is highly prized with a complex flavor profile.
Which African Countries Have the Best Coffee?
Ethiopia and Uganda together account for 62% of the coffee produced in sub-Saharan Africa. They have the best-tasting coffee in Africa due to the ideal climatic conditions and high altitudes.
Ethiopian coffee has a rich and complex taste, which is notably bright and fruity. It also has an intense aroma, which is very appealing to the senses. Therefore, if you have not yet tried Ethiopian coffee, my recommendations above will help you understand the hype behind this particular variety.