Origins of Harar Coffee

Billed as the “City of Saints” Harar is a city in Eastern Ethiopia. Harar is famous for its mosques, as well as Ethiopia’s best beer, strongest Khat (a narcotic plant) and highest quality coffee. Harar coffee has been famous since the 16th century, and it’s a major trade center for coffee and other goods from the 1800’s.

Coffee from Harar is usually referred to as Harar coffee, or simply Harar.

Much of coffee in Harar is grown without any shade from the sun (called sun coffee), or in slight shades, mostly in coffee gardens. Some of the coffee plantations uses terrace cultivation, and where there is enough water availability for irrigations. The coffee beans are mostly hand dried and processed with isolated washing stations.
The Harar coffee beans have a yellow-green or golden-green colour and are in medium size. It still one of the oldest coffee variety that is used to make coffee. There are two types of Harar coffee – Harar longberry, large elongated coffee beans; and Amber coffee, which has a distinct amber colour caused by specific soil conditions.
Harar coffee often have a unique jam-like flavour, with a typical blueberry note (with some stone fruit and spice). They are medium to heavy in body and with moderate to good acidity. Harar coffee is renowned for its unique taste but it often faces issues with quality.

Like in other areas of Ethiopia, people from Harar follow the same coffee ceremonial practices and are deeply connected to Ethiopian coffee culture. There is an age old tradition in Harar of brewing tea from the leaves of coffee, and also using fleshy part of the coffee fruit to prepare hot and cold drinks.

There has been a fall in the production of Harar coffee, due to climate change, although shifting of coffee to narcotic khat is also quoted as the reason. Harar is divided into three coffee zones, from west to east: Arsi, West Hararge and East Hararge. Coffee from these areas are categorized as Harar A, B, and C according to their origin and whether they belong to either speciality or commercial grades.

Kerchanshe Trading is the best coffee exporters in Ethiopia. We source the finest coffee beans from Yergachefe, Lekempti, Gimbi, Djimma and Sidamo, names that symbolizes fine Arabica coffee. To know more about coffee and its story log on to our website.