Ethiopian

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The flavours of Ethiopian heirloom coffee are diverse - citrus, sometimes bergamot, and floral through to candied fruit or tropical fruits. The best washed coffee can be delicious and complex. The best dry method processed coffees especially the Harrar Mocha coffees - like Yemeni mocha - are fruity, gamey and winey. As a self-drinker Harrar Mocha (or Ethiopian Moka) is an acquired taste - gamey or winey - but mocha is a great asset in blends, adding a richness and a heavy tang. It is similar to the much rarer Yemeni mocha.

Production Systems For Ethiopian Coffee

Forest Coffee

Forest coffees are from wild coffee plants, which are grown mainly in the southwest of the country. These coffee plants usually have a mix of shade plants around them, and themselves are a broad mix of heirloom strains. They are low productivity versus typical cultivated varieties.

Garden Coffee

Garden coffees are typically planted around a homestead or farm dwelling. Usually there is less natural shade and more management of the shade trees, with regular pruning so they are not too shaded. Many farmers will use a little fertilizer. Garden coffees make up the bulk of Ethiopian coffee production.

Plantation Coffee

Plantation coffees come from intensively farmed plantations, using standard agricultural practices, including the use of fertilizers and selection of disease-resistant plants.

Coffee Regions In Ethiopia

Many of the growing regions in Ethiopia are among the best known names in coffee. Most are wild and 'Heirloom varieties, with their genetic potential significant to create new and more resilient varieties of commercial coffee plants.

Ghimbi-Lekempti

Altitude: 1,500 - 2,100 m (4,900 - 6,900 ft) Harvest: February - April Varieties: Heirloom varieties

Harrar

Altitude: 1,500 - 2,100 m (4,900 - 6,900 ft) Harvest: October - February Varieties: Heirloom varieties

Jima

Altitude: 1,400 - 2,000 m (4,600 - 6,600 ft) Harvest: November - January Varieties: Heirloom varieties

Limu

Altitude: 1,400 - 2,200 m (4,600 - 7,200 ft) Harvest: November - January Varieties: Heirloom varieties

Sidamo

Altitude: 1,400 - 2,200 m (4,600 - 7,200 ft) Harvest: October - January Varieties: Heirloom varieties

Yirgacheffe

Altitude: 1,750 - 2,200 m (5,750 - 7,200 ft) Harvest: October - January Varieties: Heirloom varieties

References


Further Reading

  • Dowell, P., Bailey, A. (1980) The Book of Ingredients, Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0718119150.
  • Hoffmann, J. (2014) The World Atlas of Coffee, Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 9781845337872.