Ethiopia is the motherland of Coffee Arabica. It is endowed with a rich variety of coffee and its diverse origins. Ethiopian coffee is rich with original flavor and aroma because of the geographical (altitude, soil, temperature, rainfall, topography, ecology), genotypic and cultural variety within the country. Coffee has been growing in Ethiopia for thousands of years, in the forests of south western highlands. The word coffee drives from Kaffa, name of a place in the South Western Ethiopian highlands where coffee was first discovered. It is also known to be the first Coffee Arabica exporter in Africa and is currently the fifth largest coffee producer in the world.
Ethiopia is known for its diverse topography with altitudes ranging from around 100 meters below sea level in the Danakil depression to 4,600 meters above sea level in the Semien Mountains. It is home to a huge variety of geographical sub-regions, ranging from dry sandy deserts in the extreme east to lush tropical jungles in the far southwest. It has exceptional topography that is scintillating. It consists of mountain ranges, plateaus, and high valleys between these mountains. Within the same district, one can find the diverse topographies that would lead to diverse ecologies.
Ethiopia boasts landscapes of stunning beauty and dramatic contrasts from the soaring pinnacles of the Simien Mountains – the Roof of Africa – to the plummeting depths of the Danakil Depression, the lowest – and hottest – place on Earth. You will find cloud forests such as those in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve – the sole home of many wild coffee varieties – active volcanoes, hot springs, cool underground caverns, rugged gorges, spectacular waterfalls, rivers and shimmering lakes. Ethiopia is the fourth largest bio-diversity zone on Earth and you can see plants and animals here which are found nowhere else.
About 1,000 years ago, coffee was a goatherd in Ethiopia south western highlands. It was discovered in Kaffa area where it first blossom gave its name to coffee. It believed that coffee cultivation and drinking began as early as the 9th century in Ethiopia. It cultivated Yemen earlier, around AD 575. While, it originated in Ethiopia, from where it traveled to the Yemen about 600 years ago, and from Arabia began its journey around the world. Among the many legends, Kaldi, an Abyssinian goatherd, who lived around AD 850 found the origin of coffee.
The most famous story was that of the goat herd, Kaldi (who lived around 9th century) who observed his normally docile goats had suddenly behaved exceptionally lively, skipping, rearing and bleating loudly after eating the bright red berries from a shiny dark-leaved shrub nearby and that Kaldi tried a few berries himself and soon felt extraordinary, stimulated or a novel sense of elation. Ethiopian cultural ceremonies and rituals were using the beans in early periods of domestication as a stimulant and a special solid food, for instance, the ripe berries were squashed, combined with animal fats and shaped in to balls, which can be carried and eaten during the long journey since the time immemorial by Oromo people.
According to botanical evidence, Arabica Coffee have originated on the plateaus of South western Ethiopia from where it spreads to Yemen and then around the world. Arabica Coffee is endemic to the afro montane rain forest of Ethiopia where wild coffee populations still grow in the highlands of southwest and south east parts. Researches confirmed that within small area, the wild coffee plants of Ethiopia have relatively high genetic variability as compared to the wild coffee populations from Yemen that showed a characteristically low genetic diversity. The presence of high genetic diversity of coffee in Ethiopia is attributed to the presence of indigenous traditional production system of coffee in the country. Moreover, the existence of high genetic diversity of coffee plants is due to Ethiopia’s suitable altitude, ample rain fall, optimum temperature and planting materials.
Ethiopia is endowed with an ideal production environment for growing coffee with a combination of appropriate altitude, temperature, rainfall, soil type and its PH value. Ethiopia, being the epicenter of the origin for Coffee Arabica, possesses a diverse genetic base. Ethiopia produces a range of distinctive Arabica coffees and has considerable potential to sell a large number of selections of specialty coffee. Ethiopian coffee produces hard-type coffee beans, with intense flavors and aromatics. Fruit flavors are common in all regions, though the specific fruit character varies from region to region. Berry aromatics are relatively common, as are citrus and chocolate. Basically, Ethiopian coffee is organically produced and it is low yielding with highest cup quality.
Story originated at: Ethiopian https://etbuna.com/ethiopian-coffee/ethiopian-coffee-origin-and-history/