Discover the flavors of Ethiopia


Pack your bags and join the Caribou Coffee® coffee sourcing team on a trip around the globe in search of the best, most flavorful and unique coffee beans on the planet. But wait! You don’t have to go hunting for your passport quite yet; you can experience a world of flavor from the comfort of home, right in your favorite coffee cup.

Each exclusive coffee captures the essence of its origin: the love and care of the producer, how it’s harvested and processed, a unique varietal or an interesting story. They’re more than just great coffee — they’re the perfect example of our unwavering commitment to sourcing the most unique, sustainable, responsible and yes, delicious beans.

Are you ready to take your tastebuds on a trip, simply by brewing up a pot of morning coffee? First, let’s talk about what makes one coffee variety different from another and why those differences are so compelling.

bag of ethiopia beans
As for brewing, the coffee team recommends a filtered method, like a pour-over, Chemex-style brew or, if you’re more advanced, a vacuum pot brewer.

What’s in a varietal?

We often compare coffee to apples when talking about growing and harvesting. Think of all the different apple varieties you can find at the grocery store: Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Granny Smith — they’re all apples, but they’re varied in crispness and flavor. Each coffee varietal produces fruit, colloquially called cherries, and the seeds of the fruit contain the unique qualities of the varietal, which show up as individual characteristics in the roasted coffee.              

Coffee falls in the plant genus coffea. Caribou Coffee only buys the Arabica species of coffee; our sourcing team, coffee experts with broad and exacting palates, use cupping (AKA a slurp-style tasting) to tell them everything they need to know about a certain type of coffee and whether or not it’s right for us.

An essential part of the seed to cup journey is the relationship we’ve developed with farmers and growers across the world. These personal connections help lead the sourcing team to the quality coffee you expect from Caribou Coffee. One such partnership is between Caribou and the Burka Gudina farm.

A rich history

Ethiopia is heralded as the birthplace of coffee, with a landscape rich in diverse climate, culture and variety of coffee character — and we may have goats to thank for this absolutely essential part of our daily lives. Yes, you read that right: goats! Have you heard the story of the goat herder Kaldi, who first discovered the potential of coffee beans?

As the legend goes, Kaldi discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night. Kaldi brought his findings to a monastery, and they made a drink with the berries to see what happened. Clearly, the berries had a similar effect on people, and word spread fast. Coffee reached the Arabian peninsula, and then quickly became a treasure worldwide.

Burka Gudina farm

We’re proud of our partnership with Burka Gudina, nestled high in the forest-covered mountains of Limu Kossa, and the delicious discoveries we’ve made there. We’ve been working with the farm for about three years and are big fans of the coffees they grow.

map of africa with location of ethiopia highlighted
The growing conditions at the farm and in Ethiopia are perfect; Ethiopia’s peak harvest time is between November and early March, and you can taste the quality in each unique, intensely aromatic coffee.

Behind the bean

The magic of coffee from Ethiopia is that it really stands out; our sourcing team shared that if you’re cupping 10 different coffees, you know right away it’s from Ethiopia. This coffee is highly aromatic and very floral with jasmine notes, and the mouthfeel is silky, similar to how tea with honey and cream creates a silky texture when you sip it.

Tasting notes and brewing tips

We’ve selected a lighter roast profile for this special coffee from Burka Gudina that exemplify its distinctive notes of jasmine, candied lemon rind and berries. This is a great choice for you if you’re an adventurous coffee drinker and enjoy trying new varieties and unique coffees. While this coffee is unlike any in our lineup, it does share some DNA with Lakeshore; if you love Lakeshore, you’ll find similar floral flavors here.

Like all of our coffee, this discovery is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified and small batch roasted in Minnesota. Purchase Ethiopia Whole Bean Coffee online or at your favorite Caribou Coffee coffeehouse (while supplies last).

Up for more adventure? Continue reading about our other premium single origin beans from the Pearl Mountain Estate in India. Grab your passport — or your mug — and let’s get sipping!