If you are shopping around for coffee beans, you might be wondering which is the best between Colombian vs Ethiopian coffee. These two countries are known for their high-quality coffee beans, so it can be tough to decide which one to choose. Don’t worry, I will help you make up your mind.
- Colombian vs Ethiopian Coffee General Overview
- Comparing Colombian Coffee and Ethiopian Coffee
- When to Use Colombian Coffee
- When to Use Ethiopian Coffee
- So, Which Type of Coffee is Better?
- Final Verdict
Colombian vs Ethiopian Coffee General Overview
Both Colombian and Ethiopian coffees are very popular around the world. Ethiopian coffee is often lauded for its unique flavor profile, while Colombian coffee is known for being well-rounded and easy to drink. Both countries often produce the Arabica coffee variety.
Columbia is a top-three coffee-producing country in the world. She prides herself on rich volcanic soil and a tropical climate making her the perfect home for a rich variety of coffee. In fact, more than 500,000 farmers in Colombia make a living through coffee growing.
Colombian coffee is generally known to be less acidic than others, with a well-balanced flavor. This gives it more floral notes with a caramel-like sweetness. The flavor is complemented by a secondary and less obvious fruity and nutty flavor. Colombian coffee generally comes in light or medium body making them perfect for medium to medium-dark roasts.
So, if you are after a more traditional coffee experience or a less-imposing taste, you will find Columbian coffee to be the perfect fit.
Ethiopia has been invariably lauded as the birthplace of coffee. That is indisputable considering that this is the only country in the world where coffee grows in the wild! That is why you will find that most coffees from Ethiopia pack a diversified flavor profile and unique style.
Unlike Colombian coffee, Ethiopian coffee is mostly acidic with a bright appearance. They are more tangy and fruity than Colombian varieties due to their increased acidity. This means that they are less bitter-tasting and perfect for people who want just the right amount of sweetness in their coffee.
Ethiopian coffee is known to have slightly complex flavor profiles. However, they are a favorite among people who are looking for more acidic and tangy flavors in their coffee. Just like Colombian Coffee, they also have light to medium body styles.
Comparing Colombian Coffee and Ethiopian Coffee
Now that you know a little bit more about each type of coffee, it is time to compare them side-by-side. In this section, we will look at the similarities and differences between Colombian and Ethiopian coffee.
This should help you pick the best option for you based on your unique taste and flavor preference. Let’s start with the similarities.
Similarities Between Colombian and Ethiopian Coffee
There are a few key similarities between Colombian and Ethiopian coffee.
Here are some of them:
- Both coffees are grown in countries with tropical climates
- Both coffees are made from the Arabica coffee bean variety
- Both coffees have light to medium body styles
- Both coffees can be roasted to medium or dark roast levels
- Both coffees are popular at Starbucks
Coffees are Grown in Countries With Tropical Climates
Both Colombia and Ethiopia have tropical climates, which is ideal for coffee plants. The warm temperatures and high humidity levels help the coffee trees to thrive.
Both are Made From the Arabica Coffee Bean Variety
The vast majority of Colombian and Ethiopian coffees are made from the Arabica coffee bean variety. This is one of the most popular coffee bean varieties in the world because it has a well-rounded flavor profile.
Compared to Robusta coffee beans, Arabica beans are less bitter and have more delicate flavors. They are generally considered to be of higher quality and pricier.
Coffees Have Light to Medium Body Styles
Another similarity between Colombian and Ethiopian coffee is that they both have light to medium body styles. This means that they are not as heavy as some other types of coffee, such as French Roast.
This makes them more refreshing and easier to drink. It also means that they have less of an impact on your stomach, which is ideal if you are sensitive to caffeine or coffee in general.
Both Can Be Roasted to Medium or Dark Roast Levels
Both Colombian and Ethiopian coffee can be roasted to medium or dark roast levels. This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing the right coffee for your taste preferences.
If you prefer a more intense flavor, then you can opt for a dark roast. If you prefer something lighter, then a medium roast would be a better option.
These Coffees Are Popular At Starbucks
If you are a fan of Starbucks, then you will be pleased to know that both Colombian and Ethiopian coffee beans are popular choices at this popular coffee chain.
Starbucks has explicitly stated that coffee beans for its popular blonde roast are mostly from Ethiopia, while the Pike Place roast is mostly coffee from Colombia and Brazil.
Differences Between Colombian and Ethiopian Coffee
There are also some key differences between Colombian and Ethiopian coffee. They mostly differ in terms of:
- Flavor profile
- Roasting levels
Colombian coffee is generally less acidic than Ethiopian coffee. There is a good reason for this. According to Coffee Chemistry, coffee grown in volcanic soils and at higher altitudes tend to be more acidic.
While both countries have volcanic soils, Ethiopia is at a higher altitude than Colombia. Colombia has an average elevation of 593 m (1,946 feet) while Ethiopia goes as high as 1,330 m (4,364 feet) This is why Ethiopian coffee is more acidic.
Colombian coffee is known for its well-rounded and easy-to-drink flavor profile. In contrast, Ethiopian coffee has a unique and complex flavor profile. This is due to the fact that Ethiopia has more diversified coffee beans than Colombia.
Coffee from Ethiopia is also generally more tangy than fruity, while Colombian coffee is more floral with a caramel-like sweetness.
Both Colombian and Ethiopian coffees can be roasted to medium or dark roast levels. However, Ethiopian coffee is generally roasted to a darker level than Colombian coffee. This is because the unique flavor profile of Ethiopian coffee really comes out at dark roast levels.
Major Distinguishing Factor
The major distinguishing factor between Colombian and Ethiopian coffee is the acidity levels. Colombian coffee is known to be less acidic, while Ethiopian coffee is more acidic. This difference in acidity will impact the flavor of each coffee.
When to Use Colombian Coffee
There are several instances when you might want to use Colombian coffee, which include:
- When you are looking for a more traditional coffee flavor: Colombian coffee comes with a traditional taste profile that makes it perfect for people that prefer the old-school way of making and taking coffee.
- When you want a sweeter coffee: Colombian coffee packs a caramel-like sweetness that makes it a good option if you want to tone down on the sourness.
- When you want a less acidic coffee: Colombian coffee is generally known to be less acidic than most types of coffee. So, it’s perfect if you are looking for lower acidity.
When to Use Ethiopian Coffee
On the other hand, you should go with Ethiopian coffee:
- When you are looking for a more unique flavor: Ethiopian coffee is grown in rich volcanic soil and a favorable climate. This gives it a unique flavor profile to excite your taste buds.
- When you want a more acidic coffee: If you prefer more acidic and fruity coffee, the Ethiopian variety will be a perfect fit for you.
- When you are looking for a tangier coffee. Ethiopian coffee is known to be more tangy than most varieties. While this might sound a bit strong, a lot of people like their coffee this way.
Of course, these are generalizations and there will always be some exceptions. At the end of the day, it is important to choose the coffee that best suits your taste buds!
So, Which Type of Coffee is Better?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. If you are looking for a traditional coffee experience, then Colombian coffee is probably a better choice. However, if you want something with a more unique flavor profile, then Ethiopian coffee is the way to go.
Still, both coffees are extremely popular and offer a great experience for coffee lovers all around the world. So, no matter which one you choose, you are sure to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.
To make a more informed decision, just use the comparisons I gave here and see which type clicks more with your coffee preferences.
Colombian coffee is less acidic and has a sweeter flavor, while Ethiopian coffee is more acidic with a tangier flavor. You probably have your own preference, so take some time and examine the two coffee types. You can always taste both varieties and see which one you like better.