Origins

Ethiopia

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About the region

Producing Region

Kaffa, Sidamo, Yirgachaffe, Limu, Harrar, Nekempti

Harvest

September to January

Ethiopia is acknowledged as the birthplace of Arabica coffee  and over the centuries has retained a revered place in the social, cultural and economic heart of the country. Today, the country is the world’s 5th largest exporter. Coffee in Ethiopia is predominantly a highland crop growing at elevations between 1100 – 2300 MASL. About 90% of Ethiopian coffee is produced by small holder farmers and remaining 10% by commercial, government and private estates. This can be broken down as:

Forest
10%    No owner, no maintenance
Semi-forest    
25%    Minimum  maintenance, average holding  2.5 hectares
Garden
60%    Individual farmer, average holding 1 hectare
Commercial
5%     Commercial scale, generally 30 hectares

Over half of all production is consumed domestically, Ethiopians being the largest coffee consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa. We are lucky enough to have a sister company based in Addis Ababa for over 20 years who assist, taste and guide us on our coffees from this magnificent and historical origin.

As a rule, only Grade 1 and Grade 2 coffees are washed, Grade 3, 4 and 5 are naturals. Ethiopian beans are often referred to by their bean shape, Longberry and shortberry; based on size as the name suggests and Mocha which are peaberries.

There are key coffee growing areas in Ethiopia that are associated with coffees. The region names we hear most often are:

Kaffa
A region of mountainous rainforests where most accept Arabica originated. Within the Kaffa province, an area was recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to preserve as much of the remaining 3% of the original rainforest which has decreased by 60% in the last 30 years.
Sidamo
A province in southern Ethiopia known for coffees that have fine acidity, body and sweetness. Guji is a sub region in Sidamo that produces amazingly fruity, floral coffees.
 Yirgachaffe
This is a sub region of Sidamo with its own classification producing both washed and unwashed coffee. Flavours tend to be intensely floral, citrusy and berries.
 Limu
An area in the southwest of Ethiopia traditionally producing washed coffees with clean, balanced flavours, good acidity and body. Unwashed coffees from the Limu region were known as Djimmah although today Djimmah covers all unwashed coffees across the southwest region.
 Harrar
An area in the eastern part of Ethiopia divided into for sub regions. East Harrar, West Harrar, Bale, and Arsi. The majority of Harrar coffee is sundried with medium acidity, full body and fruity notes. Coffees from East Harrar have very distinctive blueberry notes.
 Nekempti
Also known as Lekempti, this is a region located within the state of Wellega. Traditionally coffees from this area are sundried, slightly larger in size and have a lovely, perfume like aftertaste.

Beans from here

5 Products available from Ethiopia

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Origin Profile

Capital Addis Ababa
Area 1,230,000 square kilometers
Population Over 100 million
Language Amharic
Currency Birr
Annual Production 390,500 tonnes
Coffee Producing Area Not fully verified
Producing Regions Kaffa, Sidamo, Yirgachaffe, Limu, Harrar, Nekempti
Coffee Varietals Heirloom
Terrain Mountainous highlands and plateaus
Altitude 1475 – 2300 MASL
Soil Predominantly volcanic and sedimentary
Processing Washed and natural

Certifications:

    Region Map


    5 Products available from Ethiopia

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