The 6 Best Ethiopian Coffee Beans

The Reputation of Ethiopian Coffee

Considered by many to be the birthplace of coffee, it is no surprise that Ethiopia produces some of the finest coffee that the world has to offer. We believe that simply trying some Ethiopian coffee beans will validate this bold claim to any coffee lover. 

Accounting for more than half of Ethiopia's foreign income, coffee is of extreme importance to the Ethiopian economy. The reliance on coffee export has lead to a a high standard of quality throughout every step of the production process.

You've probably heard of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee, which is considered by many to be one of the best coffees in the world. While this may be (and definitely is) true, it is also true that Ethiopia has a lot more to offer than just one coffee growing region. We've done our best to include great coffees from a variety of different areas throughout Ethiopia.

There are countless Ethiopian coffee brands to choose from, making it hard to know where to start. We have compiled a list of 6 of the best Ethiopian coffees that we think any coffee lover will enjoy.

Here's a quick summary of our Ethiopian coffee picks.

The Coffee

Available As...


Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Complex, notes of fruit and wine

Organic Sidamo

Ethiopian Sidamo

Roast: Light

Taste: Earthy, notes of blueberry, wine & slight almond

Oromia Gomma

Ethiopian Oromia Light

Roast: Light

Taste: Complex, floral, fruit, lemon & honey notes

Wild Sidamo

Ethiopia Sidamo Coffee WIld Foods

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of fruit & berries

Yirgacheffe Birhanu

Cubico Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Complex, lime, floral & dark chocolate notes

Bekama Solinté

Bekama Ethiopian Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of blueberry, banana, slight chocolate

Having trouble deciding? If we absolutely had to pick one, it would be Volcanica's Yirgacheffe!

Ethiopian Coffee Growing Regions

Ethiopia is the heavyweight of African coffee, and one of the top coffee producing countries in the world. Several distinct coffee growing regions exist within Ethiopia, each of which carry their own reputations and trademarks.

Perhaps the most well known Ethiopian coffee region is the district of Yirgacheffe. If you've heard of any specific Ethiopian coffee, it's probably this one. Yirgacheffe coffee beans are considered to be some of the best in the world by coffee connoisseurs.

Sick of hearing about Yirgacheffe yet? You'll be happy to know that the Sidamo region has plenty to of other wonderful options to explore, and there are also a number of other lesser known regions of Ethiopia that produce worthy coffee beans. You'll find a varied selection in our list below!

Ethiopian Coffee Map.

When it comes to African coffee, go for the Ethiopian beans!

Ethiopian Coffee Taste Profile

Ethiopian coffee offers a healthy variety in the taste department. You can expect your Ethiopian coffee to be something like this; 

  • Rich & complex flavor
  • Notably bright acidity
  • A variety of fruity notes
  • Intense & complex aroma

Each coffee growing region offers up their own unique spin on this expected Ethiopian profile.

If you are a coffee person, you’ve probably already tried Ethiopian coffee, and you probably already love it.

If you haven’t tried Ethiopian coffee, we think it’s time that you stop denying yourself some of the best coffee in the world.

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Ethiopian Coffee History

Ethiopia has a rich and ancient history with coffee, as it is widely regarded as the birthplace of coffee. The history of coffee in Ethiopia dates back centuries and is deeply ingrained in Ethiopian culture and traditions.

Legend has it that coffee was discovered in Ethiopia by a goat herder named Kaldi. According to the story, Kaldi noticed that his goats became energetic and lively after consuming berries from a certain plant. Curious about this effect, he tried the berries himself and experienced a similar invigorating sensation. This discovery is said to have led to the cultivation and consumption of coffee.

Coffee cultivation in Ethiopia can be traced back to the 9th century, and it played a significant role in Ethiopian society. The plant, known as "Buna" in the Amharic language, became an integral part of Ethiopian rituals, social gatherings, and daily life. Coffee ceremonies, where freshly roasted and brewed coffee is served, became an important cultural tradition that continues to this day.

In Ethiopia, coffee was traditionally grown in small-scale farming systems. Coffee plants thrived in the country's diverse and fertile landscapes, which offered ideal growing conditions. The highlands of Ethiopia, with their volcanic soils and favorable climate, became renowned for producing exceptional Arabica coffee.

Historically, coffee was traded in local markets and consumed domestically. It was often brewed in a traditional coffee pot called a "jebena" and served in small cups to guests during coffee ceremonies. Coffee held significant cultural and social importance, fostering community bonds and serving as a symbol of hospitality.

During the colonial period, Ethiopia faced challenges as European powers sought to control and exploit the country's coffee resources. In the late 19th century, with the establishment of coffee plantations in other parts of the world, Ethiopian coffee faced competition and declining prices in the international market.

In the 20th century, efforts were made to revitalize and promote Ethiopian coffee globally. The Ethiopian government recognized the value of their unique coffee heritage and established the Ethiopian Coffee Export Corporation (later known as the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority) in the 1950s to regulate coffee exports and ensure quality standards.

Ethiopia has embraced the specialty coffee movement, with a growing focus on sustainable practices and direct trade relationships. The country's coffee industry supports numerous smallholder farmers who cultivate coffee on small plots of land. Efforts are underway to preserve traditional farming techniques and improve infrastructure to enhance coffee quality and increase farmer incomes.

Ethiopian coffee continues to captivate coffee enthusiasts worldwide, and its cultural significance as the birthplace of coffee remains deeply rooted in Ethiopian identity and heritage.

The Best Ethiopian Coffee Beans

Regardless of your coffee drinking experience, here are 6 Ethiopian coffee recommendations that we think both seasoned veterans and amateurs alike are sure to enjoy.

1. Yirgacheffe Coffee

Roasted By: Volcanica Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Complex, notes of fruit & wine

We’ll start, of course, with some Yirgacheffe beans. If you're to trust one Ethiopian coffee brand, it's probably this one. Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is a testament to the exceedingly high reputation of the region. A complex combination of fruit & wine with an appropriately bright acidity, and a hint of cinnamon make up this splendid cup. If you’re ever asked if Yirgacheffe beans live up to the hype, simply hand the confused individual a cup of this, and wait for them to be enlightened.

Drip, Espresso & French Press Grinds available.

Not available as single serve

2. Organic Sidamo Coffee

Roasted By: Fresh Roasted Coffee

Roast: Light

Taste: Earthy, notes of blueberry, wine & slight almond

Sourced from the Sidamo region, Fresh Roasted Coffee offers a light roast, organic bean. Earth & wine notes are present within a nice creamy body, that is complemented by a berry-toned acidity. A distinct and sweet blueberry taste dominates this coffee flavor profile, while hints of earth & nuts compliment. This cup is completed by a creamy & sustained finish. This one lives up to the lofty expectation of the Sidamo region. Check it out!

3. Oromia Gomma Microlot Coffee

Roasted By: Cooper's Coffee Company

Roast: Light

Taste: Complex, floral, fruit, lemon & honey notes

These beans are a great representation of what ‘the rest’ of the Ethiopian coffee regions have to offer. This light roast, microlot coffee comes from Gomma, which is located within the Oromia region of Ethiopia. This coffee offers an intense collection of flavors wrapped in a velvety smooth body. Floral, fruit & lemon notes are complemented by a honey-like sweetness and a sweetly-tart acidity that can only be described as vibrant. There is a lot going on in this cup, and it all works together perfectly. This wonderful array of flavors makes for a cup of coffee that is not to be missed by anyone.  

French Press, Drip, Espresso & Turkish Grind available!

Not available as single serve

4. Wild Sidamo Coffee

Roasted By: Wild Foods

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of fruit & berries

Wild Foods takes an all natural approach to bring you their Wild Sidamo coffee, from, you guessed it, the Sidamo region of Ethiopia. Wild Foods deserves a lot of praise for their ingredient source transparency and their contributions to both Pencils of Promise and World Concern. They also deserve praise for their coffee, especially this particular fruity delight. A rich combination of fruit & berries and a mild wine-toned acidity make up the taste profile of these wonderful Sidamo beans. Check out Wild Foods, for this coffee, and for everything else that they do.

Not available as ground coffee

Not available as single serve

5. Yirgacheffe Birhanu Coffee

Roasted By: Cubico Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Complex, lime, floral & dark chocolate notes

Next up, we have another great Yirgacheffee coffee. This single origin product is provided by the Birhanu family farm. Ladies and gentleman, it doesn’t get much better than this. A complex array of floral & lime notes are highlighted by the bright citrus-toned acidity that Ethiopian coffee is famous for. An almost unexpected, yet seamless transition to a nice chocolate finish makes this one brilliantly complete cup of coffee. There are countless Ethiopian coffee brands out there, but Cubico offers something really special!

Not available as single serve

6. Bekama Solinté Organic Coffee

Roasted By: Bekama Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of blueberry, banana, slight chocolate

Another entry for ‘the rest’ of the Ethiopian coffee regions, this organic coffee comes from Southern Ethiopia, more specifically the district of Amaro, Bekama Solinté. This single origin, organic, GMO-free coffee by Bekama boasts a flavor profile including blueberry, banana & chocolate. A nice, balanced, fruity acidity complements very well. If you’re only familiar with the more well known Ethiopian coffees, this one deserves a try. You won't regret it!

Not available as ground coffee

And there you have it, our 6 best Ethiopian coffees. We highly recommend each one of these options to anyone that has yet to try them. 

We’d also like to stress one more time that if you haven’t tried Ethiopian coffee, you really should. You’ll understand after you've had some.

What's your favorite Ethiopian coffee? Have any recommendations for us? Let us know!

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Alex Cracknell
Alex Cracknell
5 years ago

I have only had the Fresh Roasted Coffee. I think Cubico sounds amazing, will try!

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