In the tenth century, in the Kafa zone, located in the south west of the current Ethiopia, a goatherd first discovered coffee after witnessing the stimulating effect it had on his flock. Today, one can see the footprints of Kafa all over the world, from using coffee every day to naming coffee with the name that resembles Kafa itself. Value wise, today, this same coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world.
The land that gave birth to coffee (wild Arabica coffee), Kafa, has an untapped tourism potential with incredible natural and cultural resources. Located in the same place, the Kafa Biosphere Reserve is packed with a breathtaking variety of plants and animals. This place should be a true coffee passionate person’s promised land due to the fact that the reserve packs around 5000 varieties of coffee plants. That, evidently, is an incredible number! Hence, it is a UNESCO recognized reserve, and it is currently owned and managed by the community under a strict regulation. The forest also called the green lung of Ethiopia, supports the livelihood of many of the people that live in the area. The significance of the forest goes beyond benefiting and sustaining the local people; its potential of storing carbon and water thereby contributing towards the global effort of curtailing the global warming is immense.
As a continued culture passed on for generations, the popularity of coffee has never faded away to this date. Besides consumed for its stimulating benefit, coffee consumption in Ethiopia is deeply woven into the fabric of the society. An Ethiopian would tell you that she/he loves the coffee ceremony just as much as she/he loves drinking the coffee. It is one of those daily occasions where neighbors and friends gather around and talk about various societal and personal issues. On the coffee drinking gatherings, usually, people get informed, seek help, solve problems, get entertained, and etc.
Nationally, coffee plays a paramount role in the economy of the country, standing at number 1 among all lists of the country’s exports. Globally, Ethiopia is among the top 5 coffee producing countries in the world, making it as one of the most important countries sustaining coffee consumers.