The centuries old tradition of coffee brewing is a part of an Ethiopian culture and of many nations throughout the whole Islamic world right in to the Mediterranean, the passion for coffee in all its tastes and glory is undying.

In Africa, strangely, coffee drinking isn’t so interesting even though coffee is the native plant of the continent and Ethiopia’s high ranking export commodity. Consumption in Africa is low and sometimes, it is a struggle to get a good cup. Often it is instant coffee served in restaurants and hotels, and this is really quite unfortunate because the alternative would be some light brown overcooked liquid that ones was a coffee bean.

Passion for coffee is something one learns at the early age. It creeps in to your personality as your grow-up, and consuming coffee becomes not only a daily routine, but also a quite moment of meditation .

How to get a good cup in your home?

You can do it the easy way or you can opt to do every thing yourself, right from the start a good way to start would be to ask your good friend, coffee exporter, buyer or processor, to give you some of his finest beans from the farmers or even from your village, if you hail from a coffee growing area.

Check the coffee for any black or damaged beans. Pick them out just as if you are storing rice. Then take a baking tray and cover the bottom of it with coffee, making a finger thick layer. Pre-heat the oven and put the tray inside. Remember to stir the beans from time to time, and keep the heat high but be careful; don’t allow the coffee beans to burn.

How do you know when it’s ready? Well-roasted coffee a chocolate-brown colour and it’s aroma will fill up the house, not to mention the fact that it tends to invite neighbors in call them over, because coffee roasting at home is a social event. Full of anticipation and eagerness to test a good cup also, perfect time to catch up with all the gossip and the embroidery work, and if there is a good soap on TV this is the best recipe to burn to your coffee so be alert to any change of colour, and stir that coffee regularly.

Once roasted, coffee has to cool off. You must preferably blow out all the feather-light skin as the next step. It is said that the electric coffee grinder isn’t the best tool to grind coffee, because it gets to hot and makes coffee bitter, but I haven’t seen any one rejected a cup so if have one, use it. If not, a sharp chopping knife in a blender might do, or even worse- the common mortar and pestle as an alternative though this might take forever.

Ethiopia grows the finest coffee which is called branded ‘Coffee Arabica’ It is a mistake though. Should rather be named ‘Coffee Ethiopica’. Ethiopian coffee growing areas spread from Eastern Harer to the Western Wollega. Here are the best brands the country offers.

Sidamo
Shape and make of the bean is mixed small to- medium round, hardish, burbon type. It has a color of fine quality grey; green-to- grayish blue slightly coated (silver skin) bright, white-to- normal center cut, compact, well developed beans.  Roast and liquor quality has balanced acidity and body of good quality good quality coffee with attractive style.

Limu
Shape and make of the bean is oval-to- oblong shape with pointed or rounded ends. Colour is grayish. It needs an even roast to get a well- balanced of good acidity and body, and fine quality cup. If well done it has an excellent of winy flavor. Limu coffee is one of best washed Ethiopian highland grown coffee

Kaffa
Kaffa is where coffee is believed discovered from and even the name coffee derived. The colour is identical with washed Limu greenish-to- brownish green. When roasted evenly it has a fair light medium acidity and good heavy body.

Gimbi – Nekemte
Gimbi is in the west wollega and the shape and make of the bean is medium-to- large mostly long & with pointed ends. It has a color of greenish/ grey, slightly coasted bright normal white center cut. Its soft appearance good acidity gives it a good quality cup. It tastes slightly fruity.

Harer
Shape and make of the bean is medium-to- large long with pointed ends, generally cleared long berry. Harer coffee with a good roast has quality medium acidity full body with a typical mocha flavor. It is the best highland grown Ethiopian Arabica coffee which attains the highest price in the coffee marketing world known as premium blending coffee.

Yirga Cheffe
Shape and make of the bean is mixed average medium size round – to – oval shape hardish type, good – to – good/fine quality. Its colour is grayish/blue – to – bluish, good quality white – to – normal centre cut, compact well developed beans. Yirga Cheffe has the best highland grown, Ethiopian Arabica coffee with real mocha flavor.

Eskinder Hailu - Manager, Highway Tours

Eskinder Hailu
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