Latest Posts

  1. Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea is often lumped in with Indonesian coffees. But it is distinct in nearly every way.

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  2. Flores

    Flores

    Flores is small by island standards, just about 360 kilometers end to end. It is in the Indonesian archipelago, between Sumbawa and Timor islands.

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  3. Costa Rica

    Costa Rica

    If there is a problem with Costa Rica coffee, it's the fact that it can lack distinction; it is straightforward, clean, softly acidic, mild.

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  4. Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic

    Good news, Sammy Sosa ...the Dominican produces more than mild cigars. It has a tradition of coffee production that dates back several centuries now.

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  5. Mexico

    Mexico

    Mexican coffee originates from South-central to Southern regions of the country.

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  6. Uganda

    Uganda

    he variety of wild Robusta coffee still growing today in Uganda's rain forests are thought to be some of the rarest examples of naturally occurring coffee trees anywhere in the world.

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  7. Nicaragua

    Nicaragua

    Nicaraguan coffees have a wide range of flavor attributes. Some cup like Mexican coffees from Oaxaca, others have a more pronounced acidity.

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  8. El Salvador

    El Salvador

    El Salvador coffee had a poor reputation for years, marred mostly by the inability to deliver coffee of high quality within an unstable social climate.

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  9. Panama

    Panama

    Coffee from Panama was once overlooked and under-rated, but not any longer.

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  10. Ethiopia

    Ethiopia

    Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that Coffea Arabica grew wild.

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  11. Decaf

    Decaf

    Green coffee is decaffeinated before roasting. This process changes the color of the green coffee: it varies from light brown (Natural and CO-2) to green-brown (MC and Swiss Water Process -SWP- decafs).

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  12. Australia

    Australia

    Okay, it is a continent and an island. But how do you classify Australian coffee?

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Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that Coffea Arabica grew wild. Coffee is "Bun" or "Buna" in Ethiopia, so Coffee Bean is quite possibly a poor anglicized interpretation of "Kaffa Bun". We consider Ethiopian coffees to be some of the best in the world, and extreme genetic diversity of the coffee shrub is certainly part of the reason why. Most of the coffee is either wet-processed - resulting in a vividly bright cup, with fruit and floral notes - or dry-processed with the fruit skin intact.  The latter technique produces a very  different, rustic fruited flavor profile, and with thicker body.

 

Coffea Arabica was also found in the Harar region quite early, either brought from the Kaffa forests or from closer areas around the Sudan border. It is entirely possible that slaves taken from the forests chewed coffee cherry and spit out the seeds, thus spreading it into the Harar region, through which the Arab slave trade route passed.

 

Ethiopian coffees are available from some regions as dry-processed, from some regions as washed, or as both.  The difference between the cup profiles produced by "natural" and washed methods is profound. Washed Sidamo, Yirga Cheffe and Limmu have lighter body and less earthy/wild tastes in the cup then their dry-processed kinfolk.

 

Essentially, coffee is a type of produce, and Ethiopian coffee reminds me more and more of this fact. When you find a really great coffee like the dry-processed types from the South, it is like eating Michigan peaches at the height of the season - sweet, juicy, fruity, and ripe with flavor. But then those peaches are gone, and you hope that the next season will produce the same results.  Similarly, the cup profile of these coffees can be equally amazing, but when they're gone, they're gone. If all the factors line up just right, it might be the same next year. But then again, maybe not.

 

Ethiopian coffees can vary greatly from lot to lot. It takes a whole lot of cupping to find the specific lot of coffee that is superior to the rest. When I find the best coffee, I buy the majority of the year's production immediately, leaving a small opening in case any other good lots come along later in the season. With dry-processed Ethiopian coffee we're able to do this at the beginning of the season. These early coffees tend to be best, which is in contradiction with many other origins where the earliest are often underdeveloped.

 

We have many pictures and notes about Ethiopia coffee in our travelogs, namely a cupping trip to Addis and an interesting trek to Dire Dawa and Harar in the east. Since that first trip I've been back every year covering the regions in the West and South in particular - usually 2-4 times per harvest.

 

Ethiopia coffee offerings

 

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