Many historians believe that Yirgacheffe, a mountainous southern district of Ethiopia, was the first place for domesticated coffee to be consumed in 850 AD. Legend has it that Ethiopia's Galla tribe noticed the energy they felt after eating the berries which they ground up and carried on journeys for nutrition as well as stimulation.
Today, the region of Yirgacheffe is widely considered as some of the highest quality Arabica coffees in the world known for its unique fruit-forward flavour, thanks to the ideal growing conditions of this area drastically decreasing the need for chemical-based farming and enabling generations of thriving, healthy coffee trees.
“Yirgacheffe beans are known for their fruit-forward flavour and aroma with a light to medium body”
What makes Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee so good?
1. Coffee Climate
Ethiopia provides a warm and tropical climate with moderate wet and dry seasons. Being located between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, means the weather is mild with a lot of rain - optimal for growing coffee. This tropical climate also promotes easy growing of other vegetation to provide shade for the coffee plants allowing for more traditional farming methods.
2. High altitude, high quality
Ethiopia coffee is grown on mountainside "fincas" (farms) at 1500 to 2200 meters above sea level (MASL), elevations which qualify Yirgacheffe beans as Strictly High Grown (SHG) coffees. This means coffee beans grow slowly due to the altitude, allowing additional time for the tree to deliver nutrients to the coffee and develop its floral and sweet character.
3. Labour of love
“coffee is our bread”
“Buna dabo naw” is a local proverb which translates to “coffee is our bread”. Coffee ceremonies, or Jebena Buna, are part of everyday life in Ethiopia and involve entire families for up to two hours.
Jebena ceremonies involve frankincense, roasting and grinding coffee beans, and drinking three cups of coffee (one for pleasure, one to provoke contemplation and the third as a blessing).
After all that, it's surely time you try Three Capes Blend with specialty Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans.