Ethiopian Coffee: Everything You Need to Know
on Nov 20, 2023
Ethiopia is a leader in the coffee industry. It’s the largest coffee producer in Africa, the fifth-largest coffee producer in the world and produces timeless-tasting coffee that’s beautiful and delicate yet complex. It’s also considered the birthplace of coffee.
Given Ethiopia’s rich coffee history, and the fact that it’s where our latest single origin is sourced from, we thought we’d share a bit more about what makes Ethiopia a prime growing region and what to expect when you take a sip of their sweet nectar.
Just looking to add a bag or two to your cart? Click the following link to shop our Ethiopian Single Origin Coffee Beans.
A Little About the Ethiopian Coffee Growing Region
Ethiopian coffee is renowned for growing naturally, with chemical fertilisers and pesticides rarely used. In fact, a large majority of coffee from the region qualifies as certified organic.
They’re also known for producing quality beans and almost only grow Arabica coffee, which is native to their part of the world. Coffee plants grow most successfully in the southern regions of Ethiopia (where our latest single origin is from), in shaded forest and farm environments where growers can best control and maintain proper soil moisture levels.
Ethiopia has three primary seasons, which dictate when the stages of growing, harvesting and processing take place.
During Belg (February to May), the coffee plants go through early development and flower in the short rain period that comes before the wet season is in full force.
Kiremt/Kremt (June to September) follows. This is the main wet season, with high rainfall and cool temperatures, and is when the coffee fruit finishes developing and ripening, ready to be selectively hand-picked.
In Bega (October to January), aka when conditions are dry and warm, the coffee is harvested and processed.
What Makes Ethiopian Coffee Beans So Good?
Ethiopia's tropical climate is a match made in coffee-growing heaven. Its optimal high rainfall, fertile organic soil, temperature, high altitude and three main seasons are the perfect combination of climate conditions for coffee beans to develop and thrive.
Unlike in Bondi where locals dread the rain, rainfall plays an extremely important role in Ethiopia, ensuring the coffee trees produce a high yield and that the beans reach their full potential with regards to size and development.
Ethiopia’s high altitude and cool mountain temperatures foster a slow growth for coffee plants. In turn, you get to enjoy a delightful, complex cuppa.
Ethiopian Coffee Varietals
As the motherland of Arabica coffee beans, Ethiopia has quite a growing history and an impressive line-up of varietals. Within the forests where coffee plants grow, many of the trees are native, growing wild and regularly cross-breeding. While this makes it hard to define every coffee varietal, it’s estimated that there are roughly 10 thousand in the country.
Many of these varietals share common genetics but have slightly different characteristics and behaviours. Each has its own unique requirements and will often be suited to a certain part of Ethiopia. The umbrella term “heirloom” is commonly used to refer to and best represent the wide range of varietals that exist there.
Some of the identified varietals commonly grown by smallholder farmers are Kurume, Dega, Wilisho, 74110 and 74112 – three of which are associated with our new single origin.
Inside Ethiopia's Top Coffee Producing Regions
Ethiopia’s three government trademarked and top coffee-producing regions are Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and Harrar.
Yirgacheffe is what makes Ethiopia stand out in the coffee industry and happens to be where our latest batch of single origin is grown. Technically, Yirgacheffe falls within the Sidamo region in southern Ethiopia, however, because the coffee is so damn good, it’s subdivided into its own micro-region. Yirgacheffe is exclusively home to some of the most special and complex flavours and profiles, producing coffee that is delicate and beautifully balanced. With fruity, citric, floral and tea-like notes, with a clean, light body, you can understand why we were keen to get our hands on some to share with coffee lovers like yourself.
Ready for a Cup of Ethiopian Coffee?
At Will & Co, we use only the highest quality specialty coffee beans – which is why it made perfect sense for us to source our latest single origin from one of the top growing regions in the world. A Will & Co brew doesn’t start when you turn on the coffee machine or open a new bag of beans – it starts months (if not years) beforehand, on the other side of the world, when and where the conditions are just right.
We can’t wait for you to try our latest batch of single origin from Yirgacheffe in Ethiopia. Expect a light to medium body and the perfect balance of brightness, acidity, fruitiness and floral notes in every sip. Get your hands on a bag or two of Will's single origin Ethiopian coffee beans – they’re ready for you to enjoy.