Coffee production in Ethiopia is a longstanding tradition which dates back to dozens of centuries. Ethiopia is where Coffee arabica, the coffee plant, originates. The plant is now grown in various parts of the world; Ethiopia itself accounts for around 3% of the global coffee market. Ethiopia is the world's sixth largest producer of coffee, and Africa's top producer.
According to legend, the 9th-century goat herder Kaldi discovered the coffee plant after noticing the energizing effect the plant had on his flock, but the story did not appear in writing until 1671 and is probably apocryphal. See more below on Kaldi and his goats:)
It is very likely that in and around this region is where coffee had its origins. Sidamo coffee is well-balanced with cupping notes exhibiting berries and citrus with complex acidity. The coffee hails from the province of Sidamo in the Ethiopian highlands at elevations from 1,500 up to 2,200 meters above sea level. At these elevations the coffee beans can be qualified as “Strictly High Grown” (SHG). Here the Ethiopian coffees grow more slowly and therefore have more time to absorb nutrients and develop more robust flavors based on the local climate and soil conditions. The small-farmer dynamic is prevalent in this region, many of them are garden plots that span less than 5 acres.
Also, one of the things that makes this the most popular Ethiopian Coffee region is the prevalence of organic and fair trade practices. The strong berry notes
and high sugar content make it bright and fruity as a light roast and full and chocolaty as a dark roast.
Kaldi and his goats:
It was 700AD, so Ethiopia was still known as Abyssinia. Kaldi, as a goat farmer, was tending to his herd one day when he noticed that his goats were acting rather odd. Upon closer examination, he realized they were dancing! Now, goats can be rather energetic in their natural state, so you can only imagine what a sight this was to behold. As he searched for the cause of his extraordinarily energized goats, Kaldi noted that they were eating red berries from a nearby plant. He concluded this strange, magical little fruit must be the culprit. So, he decided to bring a sample to a nearby monk.Some say the monk was pleased with the discovery, as the magic fruit (coffee cherries) enabled him to stay up all night in vigilant prayer. Others finish the story by claiming the monk rebuked them and threw the fruit into the fire. Eventually, a delightful aroma arose, so they ground and boiled the beans to make a drink: the world’s first coffee:)
While the story of dancing goats and fire roasted coffee might seem a bit fantastical to you, the facts behind the tale remain true. Coffee plants did in fact originate in Ethiopia, and consequently spread to other regions, the first of which was Yemen in the 15th C. As a result, many consider Yemen the birthplace of coffee as we know it. Because there is no proof of this tale, the earliest evidence of coffee drinking remains in Yemen. Nevertheless, Ethiopia still claims seniority when it comes to growing it.