Ethiopian coffees are often judged to be some of the best beans in this world. The distinct flavor profiles of these beans allow people to taste the hints of citrus fruit, the notes of blueberry, or the undertones of nuts. So, if you are also a fan of this coffee variant, then this blog will help you with the necessary guidance to roast and brew the best American coffee.
Ethiopian coffees are grown at high elevations. Therefore, they produce a dense, hard bean. Dense beans have more flavor precursors and sugars that translate into more flavors after roasting. So, being aware of the bean density is important to select the most effective roast profile. This can also help you to decide the flavor of the cup while deciding the charge temperature among other variables.
Ethiopian coffee beans are smaller than other varieties of the same origin. This thing, along with the variations in the bean size, makes it quite complex to roast them without losing the nuanced and delicate flavors. These beans are not forgiving or predictable, and they need constant monitoring when being roasted. So, you can consider them as a great balancing act.
What not to do when roasting Ethiopian coffees?
When it comes to roasting Ethiopian coffees, you should follow a medium to medium-dark roasting level and a slow roast to get the best results. Stay away from intense, sudden heat when roasting the beans. Although the strong heat might help you to push some clove spice or gingery notes out of these beans, there is a high chance that you will lose the amazing floral notes that these beans are known for.
There are also some other reasons why it is better to avoid an intense beginning when roasting Ethiopian coffee in USA. Starting with too much energy for the washed beans would cause an immense loss of energy at the beginning of the crack. It will over-develop some beans while other beans will be under-developed before the roasting is dumped for achieving the right light color profile.
The same thing is applicable with natural roasting. This process often creates a temperature spike in the beans before the first crack. And this encourages roast defects and almost burnt exterior of beans or target color of exteriors with under-developed or too light interiors. Things like differences in the screen size, high density, and unknown varieties of beans make them very tricky to manipulate when it comes to roasting. And choosing the best roasting profile is a job that includes trial and error, and sometimes you may need to make multiple adjustments until you are satisfied with the outcome.
So, for roasting Ethiopian coffee beans, diversity and complexity work as the main variables to customize the roasting strategy. All you have to do here is to follow a gentle approach, need the right amount of energy at the right time, and need a medium to light roast to tease out the potential flavor. And these things will eventually help you to get the best results.
Important points to consider when brewing Ethiopian coffee:
Heat: Ethiopians often say “yebuna sebatu mefajetu” or “What good is coffee if it is not hot”? Ethiopians prefer the aftertaste, the sharp acidity, and lingering flavors, which linger around even after the coffee is drank fast and hot.
Brew Color: The “eye of the chicken” or “Yedoro Avene” is said to be the best color for Ethiopian brewed coffee and it is dark brown. And it is impossible to get the color with the roast past medium-dark.
Consistency: Ethiopians only prefer roasted coffee to consume the drink immediately. And until a few decades back, they used to do it in the home in an open pan. And there were loads of sorting after completing the roast to minimize the level of inconsistency. But this process was time-consuming and it was perfect for household consumption.
Brew method: In Ethiopia, “Jabena” is considered to be the conventional coffee brewing method and it is a boiling-based system. Boiling is important for extracting flavor and it takes around 5-10 minutes. And this process further converts the coffee by changing the roast level. This is the reason why the Ethiopians prefer various shades of medium roast instead of dark.
Can you master preparing Ethiopian coffee at home?
Yes, you can prepare the best Ethiopian coffee at home. Here are the steps you have to follow in this regard:
1. Wash the raw beans in warm water by using your hands to remove the impurities
2. Then drain the water and shift the beans to a pan. Place the pan on the stove over a medium heat
3. Allow the beans to dry and then keep on roasting them by shaking regularly. Keep shaking the beans until they become dark brown
4. Turn off the heat and then tip the beans into the coffee grinder or mortar and pestle and get a smooth powder.