Altitude Range: 1,500 – 2,200 meters above sea level
Language Spoken: Amharic
Harvest: November – February
Annual Coffee Production: 6,600,000 bags (2013)
Common Varieties: Arabica, native heirloom varieties
Avg Farm Size: In general, small plantations
Ethiopian coffees are best known for their complexity with a pungent, winey quality and a distinct wildness in their acidity.
Also grown in the south are the full-bodied and complex Sidamo coffees (or Sidama) with their rich mouthfeel and bright finish. Sidamo green coffee beans are often less expensive than their Yirgacheffe counterparts, but reflect a better value in terms of price-to-quality.
The eastern region of Ethiopia, best known for its dry processed (unwashed; natural) coffees, produces the Harrars with their fruity or winey tones, complex blueberry notes, bright (sometimes brilliant) acidity, and with a medium to heavy body that has a dry edge to it. Harrar coffees are a distinctive wild-varietal specific to the region, and are hand processed by locals.
The western region of Ethiopia produces the Ghimbi coffee beans distinguished by their rich, sharp acidity and complexity of flavors and aromas.
A more specific categorization divides Ethiopia into nine distinct growing regions: Yirgacheffes, Sidamo, Harrar, Bebeka, Teppi, Limu, Djimma, Illubabor, Lekempti, Wellega and Gimbi. There's no Best Ethiopian Coffee, with preferences varying depending on personal tastes.