What Makes Ethiopian Coffee Special?

Published December 11, 2023

Coffee is an international language, a simple yet complex bean that actually connects us all.

Widely known as a reputable coffee origin worldwide, Ethiopia is also the birthplace of coffee. The crop is not only an agricultural product, but it also plays an important role in the local culture and daily life.

But why is Ethiopian coffee so special? What makes it different from other coffee origins? The answer lies in its wide range of flavour profiles attributed to its diverse geography.

Rather than by variety, specialty buyers typically distinguish Ethiopian coffees based on cupping score, altitude, and geography.

Ethiopian coffee beans of the species Coffee Arabica fall into three categories: Long berry, short berry and mocha.

      So what makes Ethiopian coffee special?


  1. The Unique Flavors

Who wouldn’t get curious to why Ethiopian coffee is adored by many for its unique vibrant fruity and flowery characteristics that usually stand out and loved by many coffee enthusiasts around the globe.

There are many factors that contribute to its unique profile and different reasons why Ethiopian Arabica coffee is special. Some of it being the bean variety, growing condition, the processing method and the roasting level all contributing to the wide range of flavors in this coffee type.

They often contain complex taste nuances, a light to medium body, and a stronger acidity. The processing technique significantly influences the coffee’s final flavor.

Ethiopian coffee beans undergo different processing methods, depending on the region and coffee farm preferences. producers commonly use the natural processing method to dry the beans in the sun with the fruit still attached. This method not only helps conserve water but also imparts a distinctive fruity taste to the beans. 

Another processing method used is the washed process, which involves removing the coffee cherry’s pulp and allowing the beans to ferment in water tanks.. Wet-processed or washed coffees result in beans characterized by their complex and bright notes, creating a clean-tasting final cup.

 here are the different types of coffee we offer with those processing methods. The strong citrus, sweet chocolate, berry and floral/herbal notes of  yirgacheffee, Sidama with its  delicate notes of berry and cane sugar and pleasant citrus notes. Guji coffee , best known for having well-balanced tropical, peach, sweet, mango, and cherry flavors. And a lot more.


  2. The Diverse Quality

Thousands of varieties of coffee can be found in Ethiopia. Coffee is produced in an extraordinarily wide range of places in Ethiopia. Every area, including microregions and farms, has a unique flavor profile. They are frequently identified by cupping score, region, and altitude.

Farmers usually plant Arabica coffee plants between 1,400 and 2,000 meters above sea level, which contributes to the depth and richness of the beans’ flavor.

Ethiopia is located along the global coffee belt between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. This region around the equator is endowed with mild temperatures and plenty of rain—the optimal climate for growing coffee.

  High elevations in the southern mountainous regions create excellent growing conditions, resulting in delicious Ethiopian coffee beans.


  3. Ethiopia Coffee Tradition

Coffee is an essential component of Ethiopian culture and society. It’s a community thing and a conversation starter.

Ethiopian coffee ceremony plays a huge part in creating a vibrant and strong social ambiance. It is a place for family and loved ones to come together to discuss and update each other’s lives. For Ethiopian’s coffee is more than just a cup to be enjoyed daily or just some routine after work. The coffee ceremony is a place for comfort, a place to vent and get answers for problems and solve daily issues.

Being invited for coffee in Ethiopian culture is considered a symbol of friendship, respect and great hospitality.

Ethiopia’s coffee ceremony is such a new vibe with the traditional decor like thing, ‘ቄጤማ’ a bread kind of traditional snack that comes with it called ‘ቂጣ’ or ‘አምባሻ’ …popcorn  ‘ፈንዲሻ’ With ‘ጤናዳም’ on the side depending on the preference as some prefer drinking it by dipping the coffee with this special leaf ‘ጤናዳም’ while some culture prefer to drink it with butter while others add salt instead of sugar. There is even one culture who has some fancy way of preparing the roasted coffee bean with butter and eating it as it is without grinding it or any of the usual way of coffee preparation.

As the country is so big and so rich with culture, there are various ceremonies in various places which adds to its uniqueness.

@ROMEL , our site visits and cupping session at our lab with our clients is one of the exciting parts of giving our clients one of the best experiences and showcasing the whole picture of Ethiopian coffee culture.

For any coffee enthusiast around the globe or anyone  in the coffee industry it is a must to come and experience this unique culture , visit and cup the different varieties that Ethiopia has to offer or simply request a sample of ROMEL’S Cerealia coffee specialty coffee from the origin. 


Prepared in collaboration with María José Parra , a Coffee Content Strategist | Food | Marketing Manager  who also has tremendous experience as a coffee content creator and social media manager in magazines  like  Fresh Cup Magazine, Perfect Daily Grind, and a lot more international coffee related blogs and contents.