Ethiopia – Natural Yirgacheffe – Grade 3 – Gedeb B19262
Among coffee-producing countries, Ethiopia holds near-legendary status not only because it’s the “birthplace” of Arabica coffee, but also because it is simply unlike every other place in the coffee world. Unlike the vast majority of coffee-growing countries, the plant was not introduced as a cash crop through colonization. Instead, growing, processing, and drinking coffee is part of the everyday way of life, and has been for centuries since the trees were discovered growing wild in forests and eventually cultivated for household use and commercial sale.
The majority of Ethiopia’s farmers are smallholders and sustenance farmers, with less than 1 hectare of land apiece. In many cases, it is almost more accurate to describe these farms as “coffee gardens” as the trees do sometimes grow in more of a garden or forest environment than what we imagine fields of farmland to look like. There are some large privately owned estates, as well as co-operative societies comprising a mix of small and more mid-size farms, but the average producer here grows relatively very little for commercial sale.
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