Ethiopia: The Home of Coffee

On the Coffee Trail: The origins of the world’s favourite drink


Like a gathering of grandmothers arguing over who’s offspring is the cutest, coffee aficionados the world over have long disagreed on the exact location of where the world’s most popular workplace-productivity-enhancer actually comes from. One thing they generally don’t disagree on, though, is that while the exact valley or hillside may be in dispute, everyone agrees that coffee did originate in Ethiopia.

Arabica coffee is indigenous to the forests of the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and the bean is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated and consumed as a broth-like beverage in the ninth century by a goat herder named Kaldi. Even today, so ideally suited is Ethiopia’s climate and landscape for growing coffee that wild coffee tree forests grow in abundance and remain the primary source of harvested coffee in the country.