How much would you pay for a pound of coffee beans? Does $500.50 sound reasonable? It’s safe to assume that the average consumer would say: no way. But a true coffee aficionado might be a bit more curious: “What kind of coffee beans?”
Considering that making coffee requires no more than coffee beans and water, it makes sense that artisanal brewers pay careful attention to their beans — particularly where they’re from and how they’re harvested. According to NPR, Ethiopian beans have gone from having a bad rap with suppliers to being the “Cinderella of Coffee.”
In the 20th century, Ethiopian coffee beans were known for their industry defects, such as insect chew marks and cracked shells. Today, however, Ethiopian beans are appreciated as a top-quality product.
In order to appeal to specialty markets in the U.S., coffee beans need to be washed using an expensive machine. Thus, to meet this standard, a group of over 100 Ethiopian farmers organized a collaborative to enrich their product’s potential.
Sweet Maria’s, a specialty coffee supplier, offers Ethiopian coffee, calling the country the “birthplace of coffee” and its beans as “some of the best in the world.”