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Posted by Jason Coldham on


Ethiopian coffee is a deeply sweet, aromatic coffee that evokes the taste of raw sugar, green tea, and even lemon. This ancient coffee, as the name denotes, originates within Yirgacheffe, a lush, small region located in southern Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa.

Kaldi, the Goat Herder 

An Ethiopian legend suggests that coffee itself was first discovered in the 9th century by an Ethiopian goat-herder named Kaldi, who, in search of his missing goats, found himself startled by their energetic dancing amongst the tree they had consumed its berries from. 

Kaldi, emboldened to eat the berries, found himself becoming so adventurous and so full of vitality that he was unable to sleep at night. In his near-spiritual experience, Kaldi sought to learn more about the enigmatic fruit, deciding to make a trek to his local monastery. 

However, Kaldi’s gift of vitality would soon be fraught with fear.

Once there, the head monk, bewildered, threw the berries into the fire, proclaiming that they were the “Devil’s Magic.” 

The berries burned. 

Shortly after, a strong fragrance began to fill the room, causing the other fellow monks to investigate the scent. There, it is said that coffee was first roasted. 

Today, Ethiopian coffee is “wet processed” at elevations between 5,500 – 7,200 feet above sea level. Harrar, Ghimbi, and Yirgacheffe are among its main growing regions. Moreover, coffee stands to be the #1 most exported product in all of Ethiopia, making up more than 35% of the total export for the country. 

This delicate coffee bean’s voyage from tree to mug is no small feat. 

By Tiffianie Perritt.

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