Aromatic Profiles of Ethiopian Coffee

In Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, each coffee-growing region has a special flavour profile to the beans produced. These unique flavours can be attributed to the complex mix of species and varieties that are native to Ethiopia.

Let’s explore into each of the main coffee types from which it takes its name from the regions where they are grown.

Sidamo Coffee

Sidamo coffee is grown at an altitude of 1500m to 2000m above sea level. These varieties qualify to be Strictly High Grown/Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) – elevations at which the best Ethiopian coffees grow slowly absorbing nutrients and develop flavours based on local climatic and soil conditions.

Sidamo produces both washed and dry-processed coffee. They are noted for their unique flavour profile, with intense fruity, nutty, citric qualities. Sidamo coffee is blessed with a rich body along with a vivid aftertaste that displays a yearly consistency.

Yirgacheffe Coffee

Yirgacheffe coffee is known for its bright acidic, medium body marked by a distinct jasmine and lemon flavours. The fragrant spicy flavours have made it the highest quality Arabica coffee in the world. The coffee may also exhibit undertones of berry or wine.

Yirgacheffe varieties also display an intense acidic clean taste and a complexity of floral notes in the aroma, within a hint of toasted coconut.

Harar Coffee

Ethiopian Harar short berry coffee has a medium to light acidic taste with a strong mocha with blueberry noted flavours. It has a full mouth with a heady and pungent aroma which often offers hints of blackberries along with exotic spicy tones such as cardamom, cinnamon and compote adding to a persisting aftertaste.

Limmu Coffee

Limmu coffee is chiefly grown at elevations ranging from 1600 to 1800 meters above sea level in southwest/south-central Ethiopia. Coffee beans are green coloured with a distinctive round. It exhibits a relatively sharp but low acidity.

Limmu coffee has a well-balanced mouth feel with a distinctive winey and spicy flavours. Occasionally it possesses fruity and floral, pleasantly sweet, vibrant overtones.

Djimma Coffee

Djimma coffee is grown in the biggest catchment area of Ethiopia at an altitude of 1000 to 1800 meters above sea level. The wet-processed is excellently low acidic while the dry-processed coffee has a fairly light-medium acidity and good heavy body. With a pleasant after taste, this variety shows a hint of nut toned aroma.

Nekemte Coffee

Nekemte coffee has an acidic medium and pleasant body with a fruity flavour. The gourmet grade Nekemte coffee brings in a strength infused with flavour. Nekemte coffee is grown at a height between 1200 to 1800 m above sea level.

Kerchanshe Trading is one of the top coffee exporters in Ethiopia with coffee sourced from Nine different regions as below:

  1. Sidamo
  2. Giji
  3. Yirgacheffe
  4. Limmu
  5. Bale
  6. Harar
  7. Djimma
  8. Nekemt
  9. Keffa