Ethiopia and the Legend of Coffee

Ethiopia and the Legend of Coffee

Ethiopia, often referred to as the birthplace of coffee, is the fifth largest coffee producing region in the world. With roughly 400,000 hectares of land being occupied with coffee cultivation, Ethiopia alone produces approximately 450,000 metric tonnes of coffee every year.

Legend says that a goat herder named Kaldi in Ethiopia noticed that his goats were becoming excited after eating red fruit from the nearby shrubs. When he became aware of this, his intrigue led him to take the fruits to his shaman, who convinced him of the diabolical powers of these fruits and ordered for them to be burnt. When they began to burn, the sizzling fruits created a wonderful aroma. Kaldi and his shaman reverted their decision that the fruits were of devilish nature and poured hot water over them. From then on, shamans and priests started using coffee as a way of stimulation on night vigils and during prayers. Whether this tale is true or not, Ethiopia is still considered the birthplace of coffee, and from there, the love of coffee has spread across the world.

Although many may know this story, we love it because it reflects the beginnings of coffee, and its ability to create intrigue and discovery within the community, even to this day.

Current Ethiopian Offerings

Ethiopia Washed Sidamo Gr 1 Chire Lot 2 60kg
Cupping Score – 85.75
Tasting Notes – Soft Cherry, Cocoa, Red Currant

An estimated 40% of Ethiopia’s washed coffee beans are produced in the Southern Ethiopian region of Sidamo. This particular coffee is produced in the Chire District of Sidamo, at an altitude between 1,950 to 2,000masl. Approximately 700 small farmers contribute to the production of this washing station, with each farmer having land of roughly 2 hectares that provide shade grown cherries.

This lot is fully washed and fermented for 36-48 hours, and is then dried on African beds for 12-15 days. The seeds are raked daily to ensure a consistent drying process, and in the afternoon between 12pm and 3pm, the cherries are covered to protect from the suns hot rays.

With a cupping score of 85.75, this coffee provides a subtle, gentle acidity, with flavour notes of soft cherry, cocoa and red currant. A well-structured lot that has good balance, and an aftertaste that lingers with hints of toffee and vanilla.

Ethiopia Washed Yirgacheffe Gr 1 Ajere 60kg
Cupping Score – 86.50
Tasting Notes – Peach, White Nectarine and Tea Rose

Ajere Washing Station which is located in Yirgacheffe, was founded in 1998 by Amare Tesema. Today, up to 850 farmers bring their cherries to this washing station which covers an area of 4 acres. For this particular fully washed varietal, 650 farmers contributed to this lot, which is fermented for 36 to 48 hours, and dried for up to 15 days.

With a cupping score of 86.50, this green bean boasts complexity and remarkable sweetness. A light body and a well-balanced honey finish, this cup has peach, white nectarine notes, with tea rose to create a refined cup.

Ethiopia Washed Sidamo Gr 1 Bensa 60kg
Cupping Score – 86.25
Tasting Notes – Brown Sugar, Mandarin, Macadamia

Around 700 small farmers deliver to Bensa Washing Station daily during the picking season. This washing station is located within Sidamo and is owned by Assefa Dukale. The cherries in this area are grown at an altitude between 1,800 to 2,000masl, providing a profile that reflects a dense slow maturing bean due to the high altitudes. This coffee uses a fully washed method with wet fermentation, and scored 86.25 on the table. It brings a well rounded and buttery texture with notes of macadamia, brown sugar and mandarin.

Ethiopia Natural Guji Kercha Gr 1 Lot 2 60kg
Cupping Score – 86.00
Tasting Notes – Toffee, Cherry, Cocoa

The Guji region, which lies approximately 300km to 400km south of Addis Ababa, takes its name from the Oromo people, a tribe that has farmed coffee in the region for generations. The coffee from this region was produced by 650 farmers, all grown in areas of altitude between 1850-1950masl. With an average temperature of 20-23°C, and an average rainfall of 1800-2000mm, these conditions provide fertile rich brown soil with good drainage, perfect for growing coffee.

This microlot is naturally processed and dried with the cherries left on, in the sun for approximately 15-21 days. For consistency, the seeds are raked, protected from the hottest part of the day, and covered at night. These naturally processed coffee produces a cupping score of 86.00, with notes of toffee, cherry and cocoa.

To discover more about any of these spot offers, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager, or email us at