Regarding what makes those flavors in Ethiopians, I think the usual mix of many heirloom coffee beans is the biggest factor. For naturals, the process also imparts big flavor that is repeated in other coffees from other parts of the world.
My coffee drinking is almost exclusively espresso, but I do miss the flavor of a fruity Ethiopian coffee from time to time. Importing and roasting is not an option for me because I live in a coffee producing region (Big Island, Hawaii) and importing of Ethiopian green beans is illegal because of some potential pest or disease problem that could affect local coffee crops. So, anyone know of where I can find a roasted espresso blend that features this flavor? Never found one myself.
Also, can anyone tell me what produces that distinctive ethiopian flavor? I have tasted some coffees grown in the Ka'u district of Hawaii that have a very similar flavor to ethiopian, but others from farms practically next door do not.
Thanks everyone. I've tried a number of your suggestions and so far all have been most enjoyable. And I haven't found any problem getting these green beans shipped to Hawaii so I'm not happily home roasting!
I am curious to know what espresso you're drinking. I too live on the BI, and Red Bird has been my go to blend. I do like a morning pour-over, but I've had a rash of over-roasted buys lately, one from my favorite Kona farm that was hugely disappointing. So I'm very interested in sharing information about where you source your beans and if you have any local favorites. I recently found out about Big Island Coffee Roasters - I've yet to try them. I am not a fan of extra light roasts either (a la George Howell), and given their Coffee Review scores, I'm concerned they are in that ultra light camp. Anyway, a medium roasted (I dare not say dark) Ethiopian sounds very nice.
I love fruity Ethiopian espresso roasts as well. Though single origin and not a blend I really loved George Howell's Borboya II Terroir Espresso. Order soon if you're interested because I don't think he'll have it very long. The Yukro espresso from GH is fantastic too, though I found the lily notes stronger than the fruity notes, which made for an intriguing experience. I'm a huge fan of GH's roastery and there's often an Ethiopian espresso offering so check in periodically. Soon I'm going to order Deri Kochoha Ethiopian Sidamo Espresso from Johnson Brothers Coffee Roasters in WI. They call this a "Fruit Bomb Espresso" and it got a 93 from Coffee Review.
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