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Africa

It is widely believed that Africa is the birthplace of coffee as a species. Contrary to popular opinion though, recent research indicates that the original progenitor coffee species was most likely a Robusta-type coffee, not Arabica. It is believed that Arabica was a mutation that traveled North and South from an origin point somewhere along the middle coastal area of East Africa, probably in or near Tanzania, spreading into Madagascar, Ethiopia and an island called Reunion, where the subspecies Bourbon Arabica was first observed.

The "dancing goat" of Ethiopia story of the origin of coffee is a silly story cut and pasted all across the Internet and in books, but is also simply not true. When we talk about the discovery of coffee, we generally are referring to the European discovery of coffee, because coffee was in thorough use for a full millenia or more before then, by residents all along the African East Coast and Middle Eastern countries, and even was a staple energy food (in jerky form) for Roman soldiers in the First Millenium. Its use may even date to before the time of Christ by shamans for medicinal use.

Over 120 distinct species of coffee have been discovered, but only 4 species have survived the test of time for cultivation commercially.

The cultivation of coffee in Africa has a centuries-long history of care and husbandry, and many of the most unique and delicious subspecies or regional origins prosper there. Unfortunately, most producers are small farms who have no direct line to the outside, so finding traceable origins is a challenge, and usually access to the small farms is only available through coops or regional associations.

  • Peaberry Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Brazil Jazblu##8 ounces of cute peaberries, whole bean only##

    Tiny Peaberries! World's Cutest Coffee - Whole Bean

    $8.50 $7.00

    Omigod, we fell in love with these tiny beans! Less than a third of the mass of regular coffee, these painstakingly cultivated and sorted Arabica Peaberries come from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Brazil, where they are prized as... Learn more


  • Uganda Lake Victoria Robusta Screen 18 ##for 8 ounces##

    Uganda Lake Victoria Robusta Screen 18

    $7.25

    Uganda is considered by many as the birthplace of Robusta coffee. Coffee originated on the west coast of Africa and on Madagascar, and was originally mostly Robusta in its gene configuration. As it traveled north, farmers... Learn more


  • African Coffee Master Blend ##for 8 ounces##

    Out of Africa, Blended Arabicas - Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania

    $7.95

    Out of Africa is a perfect blend of high-altitude Arabicas from the birthplace of coffee. This is a Master Roast (Dark) of 3 temperatures, blending Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Uganda Bududa and Tanzania Peaberry coffees. It is... Learn more


  • Uganda Bududa SL-28 Arabica##for 8 ounces##

    Uganda Bududa Arabica

    $7.95

    Bududa District of Mt. Elgon is in the Eastern highlands of Uganda. This UTZ certified Safe & Sustainable coffee is primarily SL-28, which is considered a gem of indigenous African varieties. It is hand-picked and... Learn more


  • Ethiopia Kembata Arabica ##for 8 oz##

    Ethiopia Kembata Arabica

    $9.35 $7.50

    We have the berries! In the coffee industry we're always looking for those rare Ethiopian coffees with the wonderful blueberry notes. This Kembata coffee is sun-dried with the fruit on, giving it extraordinary depth,... Learn more


  • Ethiopia Guji Sidamo Light Blend ##for 8 ounces##

    Ethiopian Guji Sidamo Light Roast

    $8.75 $7.00

    Ethiopia is considered the first region where Arabica mutations were isolated and amplified... creating many of the basic genetic varieties we see today... Typica and Bourbon being the the most prominent. While the... Learn more


  • Ethiopia Yirgacheffe ##8 ounces##

    Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Microlot Arabica

    $8.95

    Light in body but super-rich and smooth, this microlot is from a woman-owned farm that has distinguished itself in local presentations and earned the farmer the right to sell direct outside of her co-op. Notes of dark... Learn more



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Brazil Microlots


Get to know our Brazil Microlots!

These volcanic soil coffees are delicious and diverse... Read more...

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Featured Region


The Araku Valley of India

India's coffee tradition goes back 400 years or more, when a variety called Kent was first established in the Southern Hills. Arabicas predominated until the blight of 1870, when growers needed to hybridize to resistant varieties. The resultant strains had genes from Liberica and other unique, resistant species. Learn more and browse India's Araku Valley coffees here.

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