Coffee is one the most diverse drinks in the world. Some of the most unique flavors of coffee come from it’s birthplace, Ethiopia. There are many choices out on the market for Ethiopian coffee. To help you make your choice a little easier, I’ve made a list of what I think are the 5 best Ethiopian coffees.
Top 5 Picks Overview
- Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
- Fresh Roasted Coffee, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
- Fresh Roasted Coffee, Ethiopian Sidamo
- BLK & Bold, Ethiopian Limu
- Cooper’s Cask Coffee
Here are a few things that you should take into consideration before you get some for yourself. If you wanted to know more about Ethiopian coffee, culture, and history we have a helpful article here!
Choosing a Ethiopian coffee that is a single origin is important flavorwise. Single origin coffee means that the coffee is sourced from either one: producer, crop, or region in a country. This coffee will have a unique flavor all to itself. The biggest reason for choosing single origin is, if you find a coffee you like, the next time you order it, it’ll most likely taste the same since it’s coming from the same place. I know that sometimes when reordering something it’s not as great as the first time.
Organic coffee is coffee that hasn’t come into contact with synthetic chemicals or pesticides. Some farms in Ethiopia use organic farming practices and harvest coffee from wild trees. Just something to consider before buying.
Having high quality is something we all look for in pretty much everything we buy. Single origin coffee is typically higher in quality than other coffees. They are often harvested and roasted in small batches. Small batches make it easier for the farmers and roasters to keep the quality of the beans high.
When I order things, I do hope the workers are being treated in an ethical way. Getting single origin coffee with a fair trade certificate means that the farmers/growers are treated in such a way. Fair trade supports these families and their communities. Fair trade sets a minimum price for coffee. Providing funding for their communities, and helping with environmental sustainability. Here’s a full article if you were interested in learning more.
Whole Bean vs Pre Ground
Choosing a whole bean coffee will help ensure that your coffee will be flavorful by the time it gets to you. Coffee that has been pre-ground starts to lose its flavor within 30 minutes of it being ground. By the time it gets to you it’ll have lost a lot of it’s flavor. There’s nothing worse than brewing stale coffee!
Getting whole beans also allows you to choose what grind size you want. You’ll be able to choose what size grind depending on what brewing method you want to use.
Coffee in general is recommended to be used within 2 weeks of it being roasted. After that coffee will start to lose some of its flavor and aromatics. When ordering from a company, check their roasting policies. Some companies will roast your beans when you make an order. Which is the best way to make sure your coffee is fresh and flavorful. If not, your second best option is seeing if the coffee has a roast date. Choosing a date closer to when you order is better.
Ethiopian coffee probably won’t taste like your normal coffee you drink. They usually have more fruity and floral flavors. Ethiopian coffee is known to be more acidic and sour than other coffees. Although, each region in Ethiopia does have its own unique flavors. So if you don’t like one, give another region a chance! Our Ethiopian Coffee guide goes over the general flavors of the major regions in Ethiopia, to help you choose.
Fresh Roasted Coffee, Yirgacheffe
Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Yirgacheffe is our first coffee. It comes from an area called the Gedeo Zone that’s in Yirgacheffe. Fresh Roasted Coffee always roasts the coffee beans per order according to their FAQ page. On the bottom of every bag there’s a printed roast date as well. You’ll also find a fair trade and organic stamp on the bags.
This Yirgacheffe also comes in a medium roast. Which is great for all the same reasons I said for the Volcanica Yirgacheffe.
Fresh Roasted has both whole and ground coffee beans. I recommend getting the whole beans and grinding them yourself. So that you can get the most flavor out of the beans.
I totally understand if you choose the ground coffee though. It’s just easier and one less step to getting to that cup of coffee. If you do choose the pre-ground coffee, make sure you get the right size for your coffee device. If you’re not sure what size grind you need, you can refer to our guide here.
It has flavor notes of tangerine, lemon, and lime. This coffee has a very high acidity level that has a sort of dry tea finish.
Fresh Roasted Coffee, Sidamo
The next coffee on this list is made by Fresh Roasted Coffee as well. This one is a little different from the last, as it comes from Sidamo. This coffee is also certified as organic and fair trade.
This is the first coffee on the list that is a light roast. This Sidamo coffee is most known for its earthy and blueberry flavors. The light roast helps to preserve the sweet notes in the coffee and has a creamy finish.
Volcanica is known to be one of the best brands for Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. This coffee is 100% Yirgacheffe, meaning it is a single origin coffee. Volcanica freshly roasts the coffee and immediately seals them to make sure no flavor/aroma is lost by the time it gets to you.
Volcanica Yirgacheffe comes medium roasted and whole bean. A medium roast is really great if you’re somewhat newer to Ethiopian coffee. Most of them are light roast, which is more acidic and sour. The medium roast will give you more bitter and roasted flavors to balance out your coffee.
It has a mixed flavor of: lemon, blueberry, and blackberry. The aroma is something sweet and spice-like, that can be described as earthy that is coupled with cinnamon and strawberry.
This coffee is certified for being organic and fair trade. A big plus in my books! They also have a 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed.
Blk & Bold, Limu
This is an Ethiopian single origin coffee, that comes from the Limu region. Blk & Bold’s Limu coffee is fair trade certified, but NOT organic certified.
This coffee is naturally processed, which means that it’ll retain more of the original flavors of the fruit. Another plus with naturally processed coffee is it’ll be less sour/acidic. Blk & Bold’s Limu has flavors of chocolate, blueberry, honey, and almond.
One thing about this company is that they do not provide a roast date. While not being an end of the world problem, it might affect your coffee’s taste if you receive old beans. But they do try to send out coffee as soon as an order has been processed.
Cooper’s Coffee Cask
My last coffee on this list is made by Cooper’s Cask Coffee company. They do something a little different than most roasters. Their coffee is aged in barrels before roasting. The barrels are used to enhance and intensify the natural flavors that coffee has.
Getting into the coffee itself, it’s a light roast. It has flavors of lemon tart, honey, and floral nectar. This coffee is roasted in small batches to ensure high quality control. The coffee is single origin, its source coming from farms in Goma Woreda.
Cooper’s Cask Coffee company does provide you with a roast date and guarantees a full refund before 30 days if you don’t like the coffee.
There are many options when choosing what kind of coffee beans to try next. Depending on the region you choose, you can get something sweet and nutty or floral and tart. When it comes down to it, it’s whatever you prefer in your cup!
Out of the 5 coffees I reviewed, based on the tips about what to look for in coffee, Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe covers almost all of them. Overall people thought that this coffee is flavorful with many interesting flavor notes.
Besides a few instances of the coffee being a little over roasted, there weren’t too many negative comments about this coffee. A lot of people thought it was a very good coffee everyday coffee, that comes at an affordable price.