Why not expand and enhance your coffee pallete with this somewhat quirky African delight from Ethiopia, Yirgacheffe.
What is so great about Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee?
The sweet flavors and aromas of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee are its strongest asset along with a medium to light body.
Overall the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is very spicy and fragrant, often with a slightly chocolaty or nutty quality. Subtleties include notes of citrus or tangerine (which is why it is often preferred for iced coffee).
There are many other fine things about Yirgacheffe coffee. Read on.
Wet Processing Common Among Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee
The wet processing of coffee beans involves first washing off the coffee fruit (coffee cherry) in order to remove and fleshy or fruity material on the fruit. This is done right after harvest while the fruit is still moist.
This is done to remove the pulp from the Ethiopian Yirgacheffee coffee fruit and then the next step is to remove the mucilage through the process known as fermentation.
Typically the coffee beans are soaked in water in order to soften the fleshy material and then they are de-pulped and placed in a fermentation tank in order to remove the mucilage.
Once fermentation is complete then the coffee beans are dried. Drying of the coffee beans may occur either in the direct sunlight or through forced air-drying methods. The goal is to lower the moisture content of the 10.5 percent.
What is so good about Wet Processing?
The benefits of wet processing are that it produces what is termed as a “clean cup” of brewed coffee. The benefit of a clean cup of coffee is that the acidity allows the coffee to “shine.”
In general the wet processing produces a coffee with a higher acidity than a dry processed coffee and the wet processed coffee will tend to be much cleaner and have floral and winey flavor.
The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is an important tradition and involves much ceremony including the burning of incense as the coffee beans are pounded using a mortar and pestle and brewed in a narrow-spouted coffee pot.
The apparatus for the Ethiopian coffee ceremony is placed upon a bed of long grasses and the coffee beans are roasted over a charcoal brazier in a pan. Small cups with no handles are used for serving the coffee which may be accompanied by popcorn or other food items.