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Ethiopia's coffee growing regions are Sidamo, Harrar and Yirgacheffe. Sidamo and Harrar are both provincial states, Sidamo is found in South Ethiopia bordering Kenya while Harrar is found in East Ethiopia bordering Somaila; Yirgacheffe though is a small region within Sidamo that produces a distinct flavor coffee considered the best in the country due to the soil composition and moisture.

In the west Ethiopian coffee are marketed as Yirgacheffee, Sidamo and Harrar. Within speciality shops and websites five other small regional(not provincial states) coffees are also marketed they are Limmu, Djimmah, Lekempti, Bebeka and Wolega. At your average Ethiopian Restaurant you most likely find Either Sidamo or Harrar coffee.

Below is an article adapted from "Ethiopia Cradle of the wonder bean coffee Arabica [Abissinica], a bulletin published by Coffee and Tea Authority.

Harrar Coffee This is produced in the Eastern Highlands. The bean is medium in size, with a greenish-yellowish color. It has medium acidity and full body and a distinctive mocha flavor. It is one of the highest premium Coffees in the world.

Wollega (Nekempte) Coffee This is produced in Western Ethiopia, and the medium-to-bold bean is mainly known for its fruity taste. It has a greenish, brownish color, with good acidity and body. There are many roasters who put this flavor in their blends, but it can also be sold as an original gourmet or special origin flavor.

Limu Coffee This is known for its spicy and Winnie flavor and attracts many roasters, especially in Europe and the USA. It has good acidity and body and the washed Limu is one of the premium coffees. It has a medium-sized bean, and is greenish-bluish in color and mostly round in shape.

Sidama Coffee It has a medium sized been, greenish-grayish in color. Sidamo washed coffee, known for its balanced taste and good flavor, is called sweet coffee. It has fine acidity and good body and is produced in the southern part of the country. It is always blended for gourmet or specialty coffee.

Yirgacheffe Coffee It has an intense flavor known as flora. The washed Yirgacheffe is one of the best highland grown coffees. It has fine acidity and rich body. Many roasters are attracted to its delicate fine flavor and are willing to pay a premium for it.There are also other origins, such as Tepi and Bebeka, which are known for their low acidity but better body. In addition, there are commercially important origins which are used for special blends.


Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Review
by John DeBartolo New York's Coffee Meister

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans are picked by hand. Yes, it's a a tedious process, taking numerous visits per tree each year, all because coffee cherries do not all ripen at the same time.

A single branch of a coffee tree might very well bear blossoms, green fruit, and ripe cherries simultaneously.

An experienced "picker" can pick about 200 pounds of ripe coffee cherries in one day. Although 200 pounds may seem like a significant amount, it will yield about 50 pounds of green beans after processing.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is a washed coffee in which the coffee beans, after having the outer layers of skin and fruity pulp removed, are soaked up to 72 hours in fermentation tanks. Beans treated with this "wet" method will generally have a higher acidity, a cleaner winey or floral flavor, and more of a full body than the beans processed by the dry method.

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