Coffee in Ethiopia
‘Coffee’ is Ethiopia’s Gift to the World…
Ethiopia is the homeland of Arabica coffee: Various legends have been adopted to explain the origins of coffee. They all have in common the fact that Ethiopia is heralded as that place where coffee was first discovered. The most popular legend goes back to the 3rd century. Here it is said that a young goat herder, named Kaldi in oriental literature, noticed to his amazement that after chewing the bright red berries from a tree his goats pranced in an unusually energetic manner. Kaldi tried the berries and enjoyed their stimulating effect. A monk noticed Kaldi and decided to try the berries with his friars. They all felt alert during their night prayers. As news of the stimulating effect of the berry spread, people began chewing the berry before prayer, boiling it down to drink of ‘white coffee’, and later roasting it to drink black coffee or to mix with butter to create a stimulating food.
Coffee spreads throughout Ethiopia: With ideal growing conditions in the East, South and Western areas of the country, coffee developed rapidly. Altitude, ample rainfall, suitable temperature, and fertile soil all assist Ethiopia to continue providing the world with wonderful Arabica coffee. It is natural that Ethiopia, the home of coffee, should illustrate its success. Varieties of washed and sundried/natural coffees are available to satisfy the varied tastes of consumers at home and throughout the world.
Over 400, 000 hectares of land to the West, South and East of Addis Ababa above 3600 feet are planted with Arabica coffee. About 80% of Ethiopia’s exports are natural (sundried) Arabica coffees, the rest is washed. The only coffee plantations in Ethiopia exist in Limu, Bebeka and Teppi. All other coffee (over 95%) is grown by small garden farmers or wild in forests. Farmers inter-crop with other product in order to ensure their coffee is shade grown, and to provide them with financial security if coffee prices are low.
Coffee accounts for some 65% of Ethiopia’s foreign exchange earnings, and it probably employs near to 10% of the population. As a result coffee must certainly rank as Ethiopia’s most important export! Ethiopia aims to export some 2.5 million bags of coffee per year. However our total production is estimated at 4 million bags, which shows Ethiopia is a strong consumer as well as producer.
Coffee is central to the lives of all Ethiopians. In the countryside where some people live a day’s walk from a main road coffee is often the only beverage of choice. In addition it is also still roasted, ground, mixed with butter, and made into balls to be eaten for sustenance during the working day. In the cities, as well as in the countryside, coffee is drunk with friends, family, on special occasions, or simply out of choice. Coffee is everywhere!
|TOUR PROGRAM||Coffee Tour to Ethiopia|
|TOUR DURATION||9 DAYS & 8 NIGHTS|