Yirgacheffe is a district in Southern Ethiopia’s Sidamo region. Yirgacheffe is widely recognized as one of coffee’s ‘birth regions.’ Washed coffees coming from this district are so well-known and sought-after that Yirgacheffe is considered its own micro-region.
The majority of coffees grown in Yirgacheffe are local landrace varieties (which are often also called Ethiopian heirloom). Other varieties grown in the regjon were developed by the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC). JARC is an important research center for Ethiopia and has done a great deal of work on developing disease resistant and high yielding varieties that still demonstrate quality in the cup.
Most farmers in the region farm on fewer than 5 hectares (many counting their coffee farms in terms of trees rather than area). Cultivation methods are traditional for the most part, with coffee being grown as part of an integrated ‘coffee garden,’ intercropped with other food crops.