I had planned on pulling together a big long piece about the differences between the types, but oddly, there’s very little information out there that doesn’t originate from a coffee-selling site. If I had more time, I’d even pull together what I’ve got and replace the stub on Wikipedia under the Ethiopian coffee section.
So here are the basics – coffee was first grown in Ethiopia, discovered by a goatherder named Kaldi. While coffee is now grown in a variety of other regions, many of the beans from Ethiopia are still considered the best in the world.
Like wine and chocolate, the flavour of the coffee beans can vary greatly from region to region, and even farm to farm, depending on a variety of growing conditions. Personally, I prefer Ethiopian beans because you can roast them really dark and the flavours really pop. Some people find they taste like dirt, and they can be very earthy.
The three beans I tried were Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and Djimmeh.