Ethiopian coffee has an unmistakable flavor that is sensitive and delicate; in the aftertaste, one can detect notes of jasmine flower, bergamot, and blueberry. The coffee has a light body and a mild, pleasant acidity. Ethiopian coffees are typically heavy and winey or floral and tea-like.
Complexity and diversity are the variables to consider when developing a roasting strategy for Ethiopian coffee beans.A light to medium roast, and just enough energy at the right time to bring out the flavor potential.
A medium roast is optimal in terms of acidity, flavor, and body. If the roast is allowed to become too dark, the flavors are lost. However, figuring out how to achieve the perfect roast is difficult. Ethiopian coffee beans are finicky and small, making roasting them successfully difficult.
To begin, you can use a hot air popcorn popper, but if you don't have one, you can use a skillet (although getting a consistent roast will be significantly more difficult due to the manual stirring required).
Essentially, the roast can be divided into three stages: drying, browning, and first crack plus development. The coffee will initially be green, but as heat is applied, the water in the seed evaporates as steam.
After the seeds have lost all moisture, they will turn yellow and eventually brown due to Maillard reactions. Polysaccharides degrade into simpler carbohydrate chains and then into simple sugars, which degrade further.
Then the first crack occurs like popcorn. Stop roasting when the cracking slows down and appears to be nearly complete. Ethiopian coffee should not be taken very dark, as the flavors are more delicate and prone to burning.
Roasting in a pan should take approximately 9-15 minutes. Roast longer if it tastes green and excessively acidic. If it tastes burnt and bitter, roast it for a shorter period of time.
Enjoy your roasting journey!
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Questions not about coffee (but important to coffee)
OCM (OnCoffeeMakers.com) was started in 2007 with the first webpage about coffee machines. And for a number of years, we focused on helping people find their desired coffee machine (we still are helping folks with that! So, if you are looking for coffee machines for office or restaurants - check out the link).
In 2010, we started getting enquiries on restaurant marketing and we start to help food and beverage brands with their marketing. Below are campaigns and events that we have done over the years:
OCM's campaigns: F&B Marketing Ideas by OCM
OCM's Events: F&B Industry events by or with OCM
Check out this restaurant marketing guide to learn more about the many campaigns and companies we have worked with.
Since then, we have also created many marketing workshops and classes for the F&B industry. Many of these modules are still running in tertiary institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic Skillsfuture Academy and also ITE College East COC classes, below are some snippets of our lectures and workshops:
OCM’s F&B workshops: Food and Beverage Marketing Lectures | Workshops - click to watch classes on customer journey map, JTBD and more.
So, if you are looking for industry practitioners to help you scale your coffee or F&B businesses, do drop us a message or book an appointment. Do also check out our various social media platforms on regular F&B and coffee market updates:
For regular coffee (F&B) related videos: OCM Youtube
For Daily Coffee Inspiration (fun coffee content): OCM IG
For insights into the coffee (F&B) industry: OCM LinkedIN
PS: For the coffee lovers, we continue to share coffee articles (and videos) and have also started a free coffee class section (with free online coffee training supported by coffee partners).