Gedeo Zone, Yirgacheffe , Ethiopia
Coffee’s origin is shrouded in mystery but is thought to have begun in Ethiopia, where heirloom varieties still grow wild beside the road. As the story goes, a drowsy goat herder named Kaldi noticed his goats were perkier after nibbling on the coffee trees, and tried the cherry for himself. Caffeine was discovered, and coffee’s epic began.
The coffee-growing culture in Ethiopia is still unique. More than half of the coffee is called garden coffee, because it’s grown in the backyards of producers, along with crops such as beans, bananas, avocadoes, and mangoes. Around 50 million Ethiopians are supported by the coffee industry, and almost 70% of the national export earnings come from coffee.
The Gedeo zone, the homeland of the Gedeo people, lies about 369 km from Addis Ababa and includes Yirgacheffe itself. Gedeo is bordered by Sidama on the north, and encircled on the other three sides by the Oromia region.