We Brew Coffee

From Discovery to Brewing: The Rich History of Ethiopian Coffee

Coffee is a global phenomenon that has become an integral part of many societies. It is hard to imagine a world without the delicious aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

However, have you ever wondered where coffee originated? The answer lies in Ethiopia, where coffee was first discovered over a thousand years ago.

In this article, we will explore the rich history of Ethiopian coffee and its impact on the world. We will discuss how coffee was discovered, the evolution of its consumption and brewing, and its spread from Africa to the rest of the world.

We will also take a closer look at modern Ethiopian coffee, its characteristics, importance to the Ethiopian economy and culture, and the fair trade movement in Ethiopia. Discovery of Coffee in Ethiopia:

Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, in an area now known as Kaffa.

According to the legend, a goat herder named Kaldi noticed that his goats were acting particularly enthusiastic after eating berries from a certain plant. Intrigued, Kaldi tried the berries himself and found that they gave him an energy boost.

He brought the berries to a monk at a nearby monastery who brewed a drink from the berries and discovered it kept him alert during long hours of prayer. Evolution of Coffee Consumption and Brewing:

Coffee drinking and brewing evolved significantly over time.

Initially, coffee was brewed by simply crushing the berries and mixing with hot water. However, as the popularity of coffee spread, different methods of brewing coffee were developed.

One of the most popular methods was the Turkish coffee brew, which involved boiling finely ground coffee beans with water in a brass pot. This brew was later popularized by the Ottoman Empire and became a symbol of Middle Eastern hospitality.

The popularity of coffee continued its upward trajectory, and by the 18th Century, coffee houses began to spring up in major European cities. Spread of Coffee from Africa to the Rest of The World:

The spread of coffee from Africa to the rest of the world was due to increasing trade in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Traders from Europe and the Middle East introduced coffee to their respective regions and eventually led to the establishment of coffee plantations in South and Central America, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the world. As a result, coffee became one of the most important global commodities, significantly influencing the economies of many countries.

Modern Ethiopian Coffee:

Ethiopian coffee continues to be one of the most highly regarded in the world. The coffee industry is a vital part of the Ethiopian economy and culture, employing millions of people and generating significant income.

The country’s unique microclimates and diverse sub-regions give Ethiopian coffee its signature fruity and floral notes, with varying levels of acidity. Moreover, the fair trade movement in Ethiopia has gained momentum in recent years.

The movement aims to ensure that coffee farmers receive fair compensation for their work. The movement’s emphasis on ethical and sustainable practices has helped to create a more transparent and equitable coffee industry in Ethiopia.


In conclusion, Ethiopian coffee is not only delicious but it has a rich history that touches many parts of the world. Its discovery in Ethiopia thousands of years ago and its subsequent evolution and widespread popularity are a testament to its enduring appeal.

Ethiopian coffee remains an important part of Ethiopian identity and culture, and the fair trade movement is ensuring that the workers behind this delicious brew are treated fairly. So, the next time you sip your cup of coffee, remember the story behind the bean and appreciate its journey to your cup.

Brewing Ethiopian Coffee:

Brewing coffee is an art that requires precision and attention to detail. There are many ways to brew coffee, but when it comes to Ethiopian coffee, there are some specific methods that you should consider.

This article will discuss the recommended brewing method for Ethiopian coffee and the importance of roast level. We will also provide a recommendation for brewing Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee.

Recommended Brewing Method for Ethiopian Coffee:

When brewing Ethiopian coffee, the pour-over method is one of the best ways to bring out the unique flavors and aromas of the coffee. This brewing method allows you to control the water temperature, flow rate, and extraction time, resulting in a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.

Two popular pour-over methods are Hario V60 and Chemex. The Hario V60 cone has a spiral design that allows for better water and coffee contact, which leads to a more balanced extraction.

The Chemex is a pour-over brewing method that uses thick paper filters to produce a clean and bright cup of coffee. Both Hario V60 and Chemex brewing methods require a gooseneck kettle, a coffee scale, and fresh coffee beans.

The ideal water temperature for brewing Ethiopian coffee is between 195F and 205F. The ideal coffee-to-water ratio is 1:16, meaning one gram of coffee per sixteen grams of water.

Importance of Roast Level:

The roast level of coffee has a significant impact on the final taste of the coffee. For Ethiopian coffee, a light to medium-light roast is the recommended level.

The light roast preserves the delicate flavors and aromas of the coffee and allows the fruity and floral notes to shine. A medium-light roast will bring out a more balanced flavor profile with notes of chocolate and nuts, while still retaining the unique character of the coffee.

A medium to dark roast can overpower the distinct flavors of Ethiopian coffee, resulting in a loss of complexity and delicate notes. Recommendation for Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee:

One of the most popular Ethiopian coffee varieties is Yirgacheffe.

It is known for its bright acidity, complex flavor profile, and fruity notes of blueberry and apricot. When brewing Yirgacheffe coffee, the Hario V60 method is the recommended brewing method.

Using a Hario V60 cone, pre-wet the paper filter with hot water to eliminate any paper taste. Add 20 grams of freshly ground beans to the filter and pour hot water (195F to 205F) in a circular motion starting from the center and moving outward in concentric circles.

Pour enough water to saturate the grounds, then wait until the water level drops before making the next pour. Repeat this process three to four times, or until you have brewed 340 grams of coffee.

Brewing Yirgacheffe coffee with the Hario V60 method will bring out the fruity and floral notes in the coffee and result in a perfectly balanced and complex cup. Conclusion:

When it comes to brewing Ethiopian coffee, the pour-over method is highly recommended for its ability to bring out the unique flavors and aromas of the coffee.

The ideal roast level for Ethiopian coffee is light to medium-light, and using the recommended brewing method can provide a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. Whether it is Yirgacheffe or another Ethiopian coffee variety, taking the time to brew the coffee properly can elevate the coffee-drinking experience.

In summary, brewing Ethiopian coffee is an art that requires attention to detail and a precise method. The recommended brewing method for Ethiopian coffee is pour-over brewing, specifically using the Hario V60 or Chemex.

The roast level of the coffee is also important, with light to medium-light being the recommended level for Ethiopian coffee. For Yirgacheffe coffee, the Hario V60 method is the optimal brewing method.

By brewing Ethiopian coffee correctly, coffee enthusiasts can experience a delicious and unique cup of coffee. Remember, the origin story of coffee began in Ethiopia and appreciating its journey to your cup can be a fulfilling experience.

Popular Posts