Each coffee has a terroir, or taste of place, influenced by the specific growing conditions of each region. Soil, temperature, elevation and the amount of rainfall and sunshine can all affect the taste in the cup. So too can the way the fruit is removed from around the bean—called processing.
Starbucks new series of single-origin coffees invites customers to discover whole-bean coffees to try at home from some of the most extraordinary places, available for a limited time in Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada, and online. The first offering in the series is Starbucks Single-Origin Sun-Dried Ethiopia Sidamo coffee, with rich flavors of black cherry and dark chocolate.
Ethiopia is the birthplace of arabica coffee, with a coffee tradition that dates back centuries.
“In Ethiopia, coffee is not only a beverage to be enjoyed, but a ceremony that is cherished as an integral part of Ethiopian culture,” says Elliot Bentzen, coffee buyer for Starbucks. “This ceremony is a sign of friendship and respect.”
While most Ethiopian coffee is typically processed using the washed method, Starbucks began a collaboration with Ethiopian coffee farmers in 2005 to apply the natural processing method on their best beans.
The beans are meticulously tended by coffee farmers in their family gardens, with each cherry ripened and handpicked at the peak of its flavor. The coffee cherries are spread on raised beds in the hot sunshine. Each bean absorbs flavors from the fruit as it dries.
“When success of this quality is achieved, it produces an extraordinary coffee with notes of chocolate, fruit and blackberry with a hint of jasmine,” Bentzen says.