Coffee

THE STORY OF COFFEE (ቡና)

Coffee (ቡና) was discovered in 800 AD by an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi, who noticed his goats frolicking after eating the red berries in a grove of small bushes. The story may be apocryphal, but Ethiopia is certainly where Coffee Arabica, the coffee plant, originates. Unlike many coffee-producing nations where it was introduced as a cash crop, coffee became an Ethiopian household staple over the years. For Ethiopians, coffee is a way of life, comprising an important aspect of social interactions. The traditional coffee ceremony entails a demonstration of roasting and grinding the coffee beans immediately before brewing in a clay pot to be served to guests in three rounds.

Although coffee is now grown in many countries around the world, Ethiopia’s remains a chief player in the global market, by exporting exceptionally flavorful gourmet coffees to the world. Ethiopia is the largest coffee producer in Africa and the fifth largest in the world, with average annual exports of 200,000 metric tons over the last decade. Despite this volume, the nation is the ninth largest exporter globally, due in part to the fact that approximately half of the country’s coffee produce is consumed domestically.

Largest producer in the world

Average annual export

ETHIOPIAN COFFEE PRODUCTION

Ethiopia accounts for 3% of the world’s coffee market; yet, nearly 30% of the country’s foreign income comes from coffee and 15 million people locally depend on some aspect of coffee production for their livelihoods. Nearly half of Ethiopia’s exports are destined for European Union markets, about a quarter for East Asian countries, and a considerable volume for North America.

Ethiopian farmers predominantly use forest, semi-forest (or shade-grown) and garden production methods, 95% of which are considered organic.  Shade-grown coffee production mimics the natural environment and contributes to preserving the environment while delivering a high quality beverage. Coffee is grown at high altitudes – often higher than 1,500 meters above sea level – in western, southern, southwestern, and eastern Ethiopia. With nearly 6,000 varieties growing nationally, there is tremendous genetic variety in Ethiopian coffee.

2016/2017

Ethiopian Coffee Production

Ethiopian Coffee Production

Coffee Consumed Domestically

WHAT MAKES ETHIOPIAN COFFEE UNIQUE?

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Organic Farming
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Farmer’s traditional knowledge and experience
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Cultivars with varied coffee content
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Abundance of shade-grown coffee
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Possibility to promote single origin specialty coffee
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Expensive research for medicine food and beverage
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Expansive and suitable environments of varying climates
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Modern coffee trading through ECX
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Natural coffee forests – UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

In 2016/17, over 400,000 metric tons of coffee were produced in Ethiopia. The majority of Ethiopian coffees (70%) are processed using the dry method, meaning that the fruit is put out to sun- dry with the beans. Alternatively, the wet or washing method, in which the fruit is removed from the beans before drying, accounts for about 30% of production.

An increase in modern facilities and improved techniques has led to a wider range of cupping profiles, each measured and graded by international standards. As specialty coffee aficionados grow increasingly aware of innovation, sustainability and transparency, today’s Ethiopian coffee sector has the tracking mechanisms, certifications and modern trading platform that will satisfy buyers and roasters.

ETHIOPIAN COFFEE PRODUCTION

Ethiopia accounts for 3% of the world’s coffee market; yet, nearly 30% of the country’s foreign income comes from coffee and 15 million people locally depend on some aspect of coffee production for their livelihoods. Nearly half of Ethiopia’s exports are destined for European Union markets, about a quarter for East Asian countries, and a considerable volume for North America.

Ethiopian farmers predominantly use forest, semi-forest (or shade-grown) and garden production methods, 95% of which are considered organic.  Shade-grown coffee production mimics the natural environment and contributes to preserving the environment while delivering a high quality beverage. Coffee is grown at high altitudes – often higher than 1,500 meters above sea level – in western, southern, southwestern, and eastern Ethiopia. With nearly 6,000 varieties growing nationally, there is tremendous genetic variety in Ethiopian coffee.

Yirgacheffe Coffee| Southern region | 1800 – 2,200m altitude

Flavor – Floral, medium to firm acidity, full and round tactile sensation, sweet, gourmet flavor and aroma

Bean – Medium size, compact, dense, round to oval ends, grayish-bluish color

Processing Method– Dry and Wet processing

Sidama Coffee | Southern region | 1500 – 2100m altitude

Flavor – Spicy, medium to lively, firm acidity, rich and round   tactile sensation, balanced and sweet

Bean – medium size, greenish-grayish color, Bourbon and typical cultivars

Processing Method– Dry and Wet processing

Limu Coffee| Western region | 1800 – 2000m altitude

Flavor – Sweet, spicy, winy flavor, delicate to lively acidity, round and rich in body and well balanced

Bean – medium size, oval to oblong with round/pointed ends, greenish color

Processing Method–  Wet processing

Harar Coffee | Eastern region | 2000 – 2750m altitude

Flavor – medium acidity, full body and deep mocha flavor

Bean – medium to long size, pointed ends, greenish to yellowish-golden color

Processing Method– Dry processing

Jimma Coffee | Western region | 1650 – 2000m altitude

Flavor – high acidity and body, pleasant after taste

Bean – medium to bold, oval and thick

Processing Method– Dry processing

Tepi Coffee | Southwestern region | 1000-1100m altitude

Flavor – moderately bold, soft to medium acidity, rich body, almond/nutty flavor, suitable for blends

Bean – oval to oblong with rounded or pointed ends with wide center cut, less compact, greenish color

Processing Method– Wet processing

Bebeka Coffee | Southwestern region | 1000-1100m altitude

Flavor – soft acidity. rich body, nutty flavor with smooth, clean finish

Bean – large and bold with moderately soft texture and wider center cut

Processing Method– Wet processing

Nekemt/ Ghimbi Coffee| Western region |   1500-1800m altitude

Flavor – clean, slightly fruity acidity mocca flavor, suitable for blends

Bean – Large, greenish to brownish color

Processing Method– Dry processing

The Agricultural Transformation Agency is an initiative of the Federal Government of Ethiopia Off Meskal Flower Road, across from Commercial Graduates Association

Tel:+251-115-570-678

Fax:+251-115-570-668

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