Your Guide to Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee
Table of content
1. What is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee?
2. The Origin Story of Ethiopian Coffee
3. Introducing Yirgacheffe Coffee
4. How is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Made?
5. Aroma and Taste of Yirgacheffe Coffee
6. How to Brew Yirgacheffe Coffee
7. Pouring Method for Yirgacheffe Coffee
8. French Press Method
9. How to Drink Your First Cup of Yirgacheffe Coffee
10. Learning How to Taste Coffee
11. Food Pairings with Yirgacheffe Coffee
12. Ready to try your first cup of Yirgacheffe Coffee
What is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee?
To millions of coffee enthusiasts around the world, Yirgacheffe coffee is roasted excellence. Named after a region in Ethiopia, Yirgacheffe is one of many excellent varieties of Ethiopian coffee. But to fully appreciate its nuanced quality, we must first come to understand what Ethiopian coffee is. In Ethiopia, coffee trees grow at very high elevation and receive plentiful mountain rainfall, which infuses their coffee cherries with amazing aromas and flavor notes. You’ll be surprised at tasting blueberries, apples, and even chocolate – flavor sensations that just aren’t present in middling coffees sold at your local supermarket. When it comes to world-class coffees, Ethiopian coffee is a specialty grade that sits in a class of its own. In this guide, you’ll learn about wildly complex taste profiles, brewing methods, and best food pairings for different types of Ethiopian coffee.
The Origin Story of Ethiopian Coffee
Your Ethiopian coffee journey begins with Yirgacheffe. This well-known coffee is legendary among coffee enthusiasts for its delicious fruity taste and enchanting aromas of lavender, jasmine, and coffee flower. But every legend begins with its own origin story. See how it all began. History tells of a young goat herder by the name of Kaldi who was believed to have first discovered the coffee plant. One day while walking his herd, Kaldi noticed how excited and energetic his goats became after eating some red berries from a certain bush. Curious, Kaldi ate the fruit himself and immediately felt more invigorated. He had just discovered the stimulating properties of caffeine. Excited, he brought the berries to a local monastery and showed the curious fruit to an Islamic monk. Distrusting the cherries, the monk flung them into the fire only to cause a wonderful aroma to arise. The roasted beans were collected, crushed, and emulsified in hot water to produce the world’s first cup of coffee.
Introducing Yirgacheffe Coffee
Yirgacheffe is an extremely well-known and world-renowned coffee that owes its name to the south-west region in Ethiopia where it was first discovered. Grown and cultivated on the hilly highlands at an elevation of 1,900 meters above sea level, Yirgacheffe is celebrated for its wonderful aroma and enticing taste with subtle fruity and floral flavor notes.
How is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Made?
Ethiopian farms usually favor wet processing, which uses water submersion and light washing to separate the coffee cherry from the coffee bean inside. Wet processing results in brighter coffee beans with lighter bodies.
Aroma and Taste of Yirgacheffe Coffee
One of the defining characteristics of Ethiopian coffee is its aroma and taste profiles, which are far more complex than traditional Colombian or Brazilian coffees. Many coffee drinkers describe drinking Yirgacheffe as an almost transcendental experience, treating the entire brewing process as a ritualistic, almost sacred experience. The aroma of Yirgacheffe is a beautifully rich citrusy scent with delicate floral hints that will make an indelible impression on your nostrils. While Yirgacheffe’s taste can be varied, many coffee connoisseurs report tasting delicious citrus, lemon with even a few remarking how Yirgacheffe reminds them of plums and violets.
How to Brew Yirgacheffe Coffee
Brewing Ethiopian coffee is a delicate experience that requires special care and consideration to not ruin the taste and aroma. For this reason, we don’t recommend you use a traditional coffee machine with paper filters. Paper filters absorb much of the oils that give Ethiopian coffee its signature taste and aroma. Instead, we recommend 2 ways of drinking Yirgacheffe coffee
1. Traditional pouring
2. French press
Traditional Pouring Method for Yirgacheffe Coffee
Step 1: Heat up filtered water, but not to boiling as boiling water can burn the coffee and diminish the flavors. Make sure your water is heated anywhere from 75 to 85 degrees Celsius.
Step 2: Drop 5.5 grams of Yirgacheffe coffee grounds into your coffee cup
Step 3: Starting with a high position, gently pour your hot water into the coffee cup while lowering your pour and raising it again. This pouring method will ensure that the hot water mixes and fuses well with the fresh coffee grounds.
Step 4: Let it brew. After a minute or two, you’ll begin to see a beautiful brown coffee crust began to develop. Resist the urge to break it and let it continue to brew.
Step 5: Take a stainless steel spoon and gently flip the spoon to break the crust. Lower your nostrils to your cup and let the delicious aroma fill your nostrils.
Step 6: Fill your spoon with the brewed Yirgacheffe coffee and slurp it into your mouth. The first slurp will open your taste receptors. For your next slurps, let the Yirgacheffe slide down different regions of your tongue (the front, the sides, and the back) to experience different, wondrous flavors.
Step 7: Congratulate yourself. You’ve just experienced one of the best delights of the world.
French Press Method
Step 1: Prepare hot water in a pot or kettle. Make sure it is not boiling, but just under boiling. The idea here is to use hot water to mix the coffee, not burn it.
Step 2: Place 7 to 8 grams of medium grind Yirgacheffe coffee into your French press.
Step 3: Slowly pour 200 ml of hot water into your French press and gently stir the contents with a spoon.
Step 4: Insert the plunger on top of your French press just above the water. But don’t plunge it yet. Let the hot water and Yirgacheffe coffee grinds brew for a couple of minutes.
Step 5: Steadily push all the way down on the plunger. This will push all of the grinds to the bottom.
Step 6: Pour your expertly prepared Yirgacheffe coffee into your cup and enjoy it. The reason why we recommend the French press is because it uses a metal filter, which does not absorb any of the precious oils as paper filters do.
How to Drink Your First Cup of Yirgacheffe Coffee
One of the indescribable delights of Ethiopian coffee is experiencing rich flavor notes. If you’re new to premium coffee, just follow these tips to get the best experience out of your Ethiopian coffee. Special Coffee Tip: Slurp, Don’t Sip After gathering a delicious amount of Yirgacheffe coffee on your spoon, you’ll want to quickly slurp it into your mouth. Don’t worry about being loud. The first big slurp really serves to wake up your taste receptors. Then, take your second slurp. Try to let the coffee hang in your mouth for a moment. Now try to consciously let the coffee wash over different parts of your tongue: the front, the sides and the back. You’ll notice how each part of your tongue will be able to taste different flavors.
Learning How to Taste Coffee
Since everyone’s palette is unique, try experimenting to see what you taste! With Yirgacheffe, the tip of your tongue will usually detect a soft taste of green grapes with a touch of sweet lemon. The sides of your tongue can taste a faint hint of strawberries with the back of the tongue detecting a gorgeous bitterness that is reminiscent of a lychee pit.
Food Pairings with Yirgacheffe coffee
Since the taste of Yirgacheffe tends to be very citrusy with hints of blueberries and wine, we strongly recommend pairing it with fruit bars, lemon pound cake, and chocolate that really help bring out its fruit flavors.
Ready to try your first cup of Yirgacheffe Coffee
Here at Paramount Original Coffee, we source the finest Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee from single source farms. Ethically purchased with fair trade agreements, you’ll know you’re not only getting a specialty-brand coffee but also supporting the local Ethiopian economy.