Origin of Coffee: Ethiopian Roots

Origin of Coffee: Ethiopian Roots

October 09, 2019

Ethiopian Coffee has the longest history of coffee growing and harvesting in the entire world.

Coffee originated in Ethiopia and what better way to honor this fact than by choosing a coffee from Ethiopia as Fire Dept. Coffee’s first-ever Coffee of the Month pick?! Coffee has nearly boundless benefits, including keeping away memory loss, diabetes prevention, and of course, acting as a natural diuretic.

 

But, how was coffee discovered?

Ethiopian legend has it that it all started with a goat, his goat friends, and one perplexed goat herder. Kaldi, the goat herder, noticed that his many goats would have a lot more pep in their prancing when eating the cherries off the trees on his land. Then one day, per his wife’s suggestion, Kaldi decided to bring a handful of these cherries to the chief monk in the village, who, after eating a couple of them felt elated and promptly told him that the cherries were the “devil’s work!” Of course, after the monk threw the cherries into a fire, the aroma of the coffee filled the air, and he was suddenly pleased and impressed. As they say, “The rest is history…”

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony?

It’s actually pretty fascinating. Resembling the Chinese Tea Ceremony, the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony is one which is almost as old as the discovery of coffee itself. Essentially, it begins with a young Ethiopian woman dressed in white, roasting the coffee beans in a pan over an open fire. Once the coffee beans start releasing their aromas, she will take the beans and walk around the room in which the ceremony is being held, using the beans like incense. Afterward, she brews the coffee and serves it to the visiting patrons.

 

So. Much. Coffee!

It’s really no coincidence that Ethiopia is the country from which coffee originated as there have been literally (yes, literally) thousands of varieties found within the country with more still to be discovered. That said, Ethiopian coffees are best known for their complexity with a pungent, winey quality and a distinct wildness in their acidity. Just a few varietals include:

Typica Coffee: Like all Arabica coffees, the Typica group is supposed to have originated in southwestern Ethiopia. This is a popular varietal, known for its cleanliness and sweetness, and it tends to have excellent cup quality.

  • Coffees found within the Typica varietal:
    • Criollo (Creole), Indio (Indian), Arábigo (Arabica), Plume Hidalgo, Blue Mountain, and Sumatra.

Ethiopian Harrar: From the region of Harrar, Ethiopia, the Harrar coffees are considered powerhouse coffees, exhibiting a bold taste that resonates in the cup. Known for its complex, fruity flavor that resembles a dry red wine, coffees made from this varietal are simply delicious!

Ethiopian Sidamo: Sidamo coffee is a well-balanced coffee with cupping notes exhibiting berries and citrus with complex acidity. Because this coffee varietal grows at a slower rate, this allows for a deeper absorption of nutrients and therefore, is more flavorful than other coffees.

Geisha: Found in many regions, this varietal is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. The Geisha varietal produces a very aromatic and floral cup of coffee and the demand for it has grown in recent years.

Genika: Like most African coffees, this one features a small and greyish bean, yet is valued for its deep, spice and wine or chocolate-like taste, and floral aroma. The Genika variety is home to the Yirgacheffe Coffee, which is the featured coffee in this month’s Coffee of the Month!

  • The Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is known for its sweet flavor and aroma with a light to medium body. The coffee beans from which Fire Dept. Coffee’s first pick Coffee of the Month were selected are spicy and fragrant, and are often reviewed and rated as some of the highest quality Arabica coffees in the world.

At Fire Dept. Coffee, we choose only the highest grade of coffee beans to roast for our customers because we only drink the best. So, we hope you find this information well.




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