As many of you will know, Ethiopia is the largest coffee producer in Africa and is currently ranked fifth in the world order of coffee production. Ethiopia also has a number of very distinct growing regions which each produce appealingly different tasting coffees.


It can be a complex topic to break down the different regions so we will start at the top. The vast majority of Ethiopia’s coffee regions are divided into two political regions: Oromia and SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region).

These political regions are then split into Woredas (districts) which are usually where the coffee names you are familiar with come from, for instance Hunkute & Bokasso are in the Woreda of Sidama which is in the SNNPR.

To start off here is a basic run through of the political  and larger regions:

On the hill of Bale Mountain overlooking the vast green field dotted with traditional buildings.

Oromia

  • Bale (incl. Bale Mountain, West Arsi, Gibe Woreka, Harena)
  • Guji (incl. Uraaga, Anasora, Adola, Bule Hora, Mokonisa, Shakiso)
  • Harar (incl. Arsi, West Harage, East Harage)
  • Limu / Jimma (incl. Limu Genet, Yebu, Yayu, Illubador)

SNNPR

  • Bench Maji (incl. Gesha, Bebeka)
  • Kaffa (incl. Bonga, Anderacha)
  • Sidamo (incl. Bokasso, Hunkute)
  • Yirgacheffe (incl. Kercha, Kore, Boji, Kochere, Haru)
Hand sorting on raised drying beds in Bokasso.

Interestingly in 2006 the Ethiopian government attempted to trademark three of its most famous coffee zones to help the Ethiopian coffee industry get more recognition in the world market: Sidama, Yirgacheffe and Harar. This was initially opposed by Starbucks and the NCA, you can read more on this here.

Check out our Cropster portal for more information on some of our current Ethiopian coffees. This information includes more intricate details such as altitudes and tasting notes as well as information on some of the suppliers we work with.

In out previous articles we talked about how important animals are in transporting coffee.