An international group of coffee experts has rated Ethiopia’s coffee as the best in the world. Coffee is atop export for the country. But at home, it is a source of national pride. Ethiopians feel good about their coffee, and enjoying a drink with friends is a longstanding tradition.
International coffee experts travel the world to find the best tasting cup of coffee. They keep returning to Ethiopia. Some people say the climate produces quality beans.
Finding the best quality beans is often an issue of taste.
But before international experts come to taste, coffee beans are studied in small coffee laboratories. Helen Assefa, a lab technician, describes the process.
“When the coffee comes to the lab, we assess the coffee quality first by recording the details. Then we weigh the moisture level and we screen the beans for analysis. After that we grind the coffee beans and taste the samples. At the end we check for defective beans.”
Ethiopia is making big profits on its coffee reputation with exports to more than 120 countries. The country has an export revenue of more than $840 million a year.
But not all the best coffee leaves Ethiopia. Forty percent of the coffee grown in the country stays there. It remains an important part of everyday life at work, at home and at ceremonies just to celebrate that special cup.