Ethiopia's highlands create ideal conditions for growing coffee, which is one of the reasons why the country is among the major suppliers of coffee globally. Additionally, Ethiopia's diverse topographies and ecosystems offer many coffee growing regions, each with unique coffee bean characteristics (such as shape and color) and coffee cup profiles (including acidity, sweetness, and body). The major origins and varieties are listed and described below:
Sidamo: This coffee from Southern Ethiopia is grown at altitudes between 1550 and 2200 meters and produces small to medium-sized oval-shaped greenish to grayish beans. It has a lemony and cardamom flavor with bright acidity. Sidama coffee is harvested between October and January and is characterized by a spicy floral fragrance and full body.
Yirgacheffe: This coffee type is grown at high altitudes of 1500-2200 meters in the southern part of Ethiopia. The beans, which are mid-sized and grayish-blue, are harvested between October and January. Yirgacheffe is one of the finest highland-grown coffees, with a flora fruity flavor, delicate teal-like sweetness, light to medium body, and vibrant aftertaste.
Lekempti/Wellega: This coffee type is produced in Western Ethiopia at high altitudes of 1500-2300 meters above sea level. The beans, harvested between November and January, have a bold-oval to oblong shape with pointed ends and a greenish to brownish color. The coffee type is valued for its pleasant fruity flavor, good acidity, short aftertaste, and medium body.
Harrar: This coffee is produced in eastern Ethiopia and harvested between November and January. The beans are of medium to long pointed size and have a golden color. Harrar coffee has a spicy fragrance and mocha flavor. Grown at an altitude of 1500-2700 meters, it is also known for having a lingering aftertaste and a full body.
Guji: This coffee is grown in Southern Ethiopia at a high altitude of 2000-2150 meters and harvested between October and January. Its small to medium round-sized beans are bluish to grayish in color and have high-intensity acidity. Guji coffee is known for its peachy sweetness, medium to full body, and delicate aftertaste.
Kaffa: This coffee is grown in southwestern Ethiopia, the area believed to be the origin of coffee. Produced at altitudes of 1200-1800 meters, the beans have a bold greenish color and are harvested between November and January. This coffee type has complex flavor notes and a smoky aftertaste, typically with delicate sweetness and medium to high cup profile.
Limmu/Djimmah: This coffee is produced in southwestern Ethiopia and is known for its spicy fragrance, winey flavor, and citrus sweetness. The beans, round-shaped with greenish to bluish color, are harvested between November and January. The plant is grown at high altitudes of 1400-2000m.
Other Origins: Apart from the most popular coffee origins in Ethiopia mentioned above, the country is blessed with many more varieties.
A comprehensive list and description of all Ethiopian coffee origins is published by Ethiopian Commodity Exchange.