Ethiopia: a country known for its “Moka cafes”. Do you know why did they called these cafes this way? Ethiopian coffees were once exported from the Port of Mocha in Yemen (in the Arabian Peninsula). Hence the name Moka coffee.
First of all, know that Ethiopia , cradle of coffee, is famous for its Arabica coffees and its high plateaus (1500-2300 meters) giving the coffee exceptional organoleptic characteristics (especially in terms of aromatic complexity and liveliness). What does coffee production represent in the country’s local economy? What are the reputable production areas in Ethiopia?
THE ETHIOPIAN MOKA COFFEE LEGEND
First of all, know that the origin of coffee takes its roots in Ethiopia. Indeed, history claims that a shepherd named Kaldi discoverd the exciting virtues of coffee. One of her goats started jumping after eating cherries from a coffee tree (around the 8th century). Thus, the cultivation of coffee and its uses were then disseminated by the monks to keep themselves awake during their long services. In the 15th century, the port of Mocha in Yemen was created and the Ethiopian coffee began to be exported. This is why, for a long time, Ethiopia kept the market monopoly.
COFFEE AT THE CORE OF THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMY
Still today, coffee occupies a central place in the Ethiopian economy with 400,000 hectares of coffee growing areas. Ethiopia is the 5th largest producer and the 10th largest exporter in the world: 60% of its production is exported, or 172,000 tonnes/year. Moreover, many families live thanks to the coffee trade. Coffee importers and roasters are increasingly trying to create fair and sustainable partnerships with producers to ensure fair returns and a medium/long-term view of their trade. Thus, they can anticipate their production from one year to the next.
RECOGNIZED PRODUCTION AREAS
There are 4 large production areas in Ethiopia. 2 of them have a good reputation.
Sidamo Region :
First, located in southern Ethiopia, the Sidamo region owes its name to an ethnic group living in southwestern Ethiopia called the “Sidamas”. Moreover, several washed coffee of very high quality come from this region as the Moka Sidamo (very fruity coffee, a real treat!) or the Moka Yrgacheffe (coffee both fruity and floral). Thus, 14% of the country’s production is realized in this region of Sidamo.
Kaffa is a province in southwest Ethiopia whose capital is Jimma. First of all, this region consists of two large production areas known for their coffees:
– Limu for the production of washed coffees. – And also, Jimma for the production of natural coffees. We use Moka Jimma coffee: it is a very aromatic coffee with notes of citrus and yellow fruits (grapefruit, pineapple). The Kaffa region alone produces 27% of the country’s total production.
Then, the Walläga region, which produces 40% of the country’s production, is made up of washed and natural Moka coffees.
This terroir is probably the highest in the world! At an altitude of more than 2,400 metres, coffee trees grow in the shade of forest and fruit trees. The scarcity of oxygen offers a significant natural sweetness to coffee cherries.
Many coffees of this terroir are extremely famous such as the Moka Gidaamii in particular
Finally, the Harrar region is located in the eastern part of the country, at an altitude of more than 1885 meters. Coffees in this area are naturally dried in the sun. Finally, 19% of global coffee production is grown here. It is a complex and aromatic coffee with delicious notes of undergrowth and ripe fruit.
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