Limu coffee grows in the southwest of Ethiopia between 3,600 and 6,200 feet. Limu coffee (all washed) generally has a milder acidity than Sidama and Yirgacheffe; the flavors generally characterized by a balanced and clean cup.
Traditionally, Limu coffees marketed under that name have been processed washed; the unwashe Limu coffees have normally been offered under the Jimma category. Limu A types include: Limmu Seka, Limmu Kossa, Manna, Gomma, Gummay, Seka Chekoressa. Kersa, Shebe and Gera. Limu B types include: Bedelle, Noppa, Chorra, Yayo, Alle, and Didu Dedessa.
Jimma, also spelled as “Djmmah” encompasses Ethiopia’s largest basket of unwashed coffees which included all unwashed coffee produced in the southwestern region of Ethiopia.
The area has a multitude of different indigenous varieties that can be quite diverse in quality.
Jimma A types include: Yeki, Anderacha, Sheko, S.Bench, N.Bench, Gura ferda and Bero. Jimma B types include: Bedelle, Noppa, Chorra, Yayo, Alle and Didu Dedessa.
Bonga, a town in the Kaffa zone, has suitable Agro-ecological conditions for specialty coffee production. Its altitude is between 1600 and 1900 meters the soil is red in color, and temperatures are conducive for coffee production. The area is known for distinct higher levels of precipitation and for that reason it is considered as one of the rainiest regions in Ethiopia.
As one of the first two Biosphere Reserves in Ethiopia, the Wild Coffee Forests in the former kingdom of Kaffa have been recognized as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the beginning of June 2010. Gesha is one of the districts of the Kaffa zone.
Most farms, estates and cooperatives supply both washed and natural sun-dried coffees to international markets. With the support of the Gates Foundation, Technoserve established and constructed more than one hundred processing stations in the Southwest regions.
The best unwashed coffees from Yirgacheffe often retain a high degree of acidity, with softer fruit flavors and sometimes berry characteristics.
Most of these stations have been built in the Kaffa and Limu regions.
Because of its unique flavor and bean appearance many cuppers categorize Kaffa washed coffee with Borena region coffee while others compare its flavor with neighboring Limu coffee.Kaffa types include: Gimbo, Gewata and Chena.
Nekempti also known as Lekempti, is a region located within the state of Wellega, about 6 hours west by car from Addis.
This coffee would typically be sold as “Lekempti”, a trade name in coffee to designate Western Ethiopian coffees traded through the city of Nekempte, while the coffee actually originates further west in East Wollega, also called “Misraq Wellega”, which is the Gimbi woreda. Gimbi is often grouped together with the adjacent Lekempti (technically, 80 miles to the east).
Wellega is the highland area in the Southwestern part of Ethiopia with more rainfall than in the dry Northern and Eastern areas of Ethiopia. In the province Wellega live the Oromo’s, the largest tribe of Ethiopia. The majority of the Oromo people are farmers. Income is mainly gained from agriculture, cattle and coffee.
Originally, Lekempti is a sun-dried natural bean produced in western Ethiopia. The coffee is known for its large bean size, and the flavor can have a pronounced perfume-like aftertaste.
Coffee processing styles in Wellega have traditionally been sun-dried natural.
In the near future we can expect that the offerings of washed processing styles will be expanded through the washed coffee processing stations built. Nekempti and Wellega coffee export designations include: Kelem Wollega, East Wollega and Gimbi.