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Home » H3 coffee: All About this First-Generation Ethiopian Hybrid

H3 coffee: All About this First-Generation Ethiopian Hybrid

Looking for a coffee with an intense aroma and chocolate flavour that lingers on your taste buds for long? You’re searching for H3 coffee, and this specialty coffee gives an unforgettable taste. Let’s dig into it.

What is H3 coffee?

H3 coffee is a blend of Arabica varieties originating from Ethiopia. (Psst… Here’s everything you need to know about Arabica coffee beans). H3 was made to create an heirloom blend, and it’s environmentally and socially sustainable.

Ethiopia has coffee consumers in over 120 countries with a yearly export revenue of above US$840 million.

The H3 plant

The H3 plant has an intermediate stature between dwarf and tall, and has bright green leaves. It produces large-sized beans and gives a high yield.

Due to these qualities, the H3 plant is similar to the Centroamericano variety. It grows at an elevation of above 1300 m and the quality gets better at higher elevations. While it yields a good cup, the plant is susceptible to coffee berry disease, leaf rust, and nematodes.

H3 gives a high cherry-to-bean ratio. The plant has a high nutritional requirement and gives its first yield in the third year. This makes it a specialty coffee that demands attention and care from the farmer.

The hybrid variety

H3 bean is a first-generation hybrid between Ethiopian and Caturra varieties. This hybrid is created by breeders using hand pollination, and the offspring of the hybrid is then grown to maturity to get H3.

The offspring has genetic recombination qualities of the parents along with extra robustness. Coffee breeders pick one plant that offers the perfect combination of yield, taste, and disease resistance to begin a new line of coffee.

H3 Propagation

In a perfect world, all the hard work would be finished after coffee breeding and the farmers could then plant thousands of these seeds, like other crops. However, this is not how things work in the coffee world. For each hand-pollinated flower, the plant gives one seed.

Seeds obtained from hybrid plants may not take the characteristics of their parents. This segregation causes the child plant to be different from the parent. The child plant may not carry the same yield, quality, disease resistance, or other qualities as its parent.

This is why H3 is reproduced using clonal propagation only. Typical seed production methods might not give the same quality as the original hybrid.

You have different ancient varieties referred to as Ethiopian heirdom. They are grown in places with perfect soil, perfect altitude, and micro climates that are really suitable for coffee processing, such as drying and things like that.

The Ethiopian climate is thus highly suited for H3.

Tasting notes

H3 generally gives notes of chocolate, fruits, and sweet spices. It has an intense aroma of cocoa and sweet almonds. It carries a good balance of intense and fruity notes and holds softness despite its intense aroma.

H3 has a smooth texture and a velvety body, and it carries a spicy character that makes it ideal for a mocha. Combined with its fine acidity, it is an extremely delicious coffee. It has a delightful and persistent finish that will stay with you long.

Brewing and preparation

espresso and chocolate syrup: H3 Brewing Methods

H3 is perfect for an espresso roast. It gives the best results with an espresso machine or an Italian coffee maker. Coffee companies also use it to fill Nespresso and Dolce Gusto capsules.

Final Thoughts

H3 is a specialty hybrid coffee originating from Ethiopia. It’s a great espresso coffee that gives spicy notes that are ideal for a yummy mocha. It has a delicious chocolate flavour you can enhance by adding chocolate syrup.

How do you like your H3 coffee? Let us know in the comments.


H3 is not resistant to diseases. The H3 plant is susceptible to coffee berry disease, leaf rust, and nematodes.

H3 is not really easy to grow. It is prone to common diseases. Also, it’s a hybrid variant that is hand pollinated and propagated only through a clonal method. This makes it difficult to grow.

H3 is a first generation (F1) hybrid between two coffees (Ethiopian landrace and Caturra). F1 hybrid is created to diversify the varieties available in a given region.

  1. Wolf, M. van der. (2015, January 21). Experts rank Ethiopia’s coffee among best. VOA. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from https://www.voanews.com/a/how-experts-decide-ethiopia-has-best-coffee/2607523.html
Summer Hirst
All cards on the table: I’m a coffeeholic. So much so that I don’t give a frappe anymore. I love tasting different types of coffees and writing about them. When I’m not obsessing over coffee, I’m obsessing over puppies. Sometimes I believe I can do anything, and sometimes the coffee stops working. If you like my work, leave me a comment!

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