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Searching For the Origins of Harar Coffee


The city of Harar is famous for two reasons: one, as a major holy city of Islam and two for its naturally processed coffee. It is the fourth-holiest city for Muslims worldwide after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.

Harar was also a major trading center for coffee since the 16th century. The city’s vibrant markets and city houses or gey gars are standing witnesses to the many centuries when Harar was a major center of trade in the Horn of Africa, linking the ports of Somalia to the fertile Ethiopian hinterland.

Coffee from Harar

Ethiopian Harar coffee refers to the varietal that is cultivated in the region of Harar. The region lies on the north-eastern side of the Ethiopian Rift Valley extending from Chole to the city of Harar.

Harar experiences a drier coffee growing climate and is at times cooler than the other coffee-growing regions of Ethiopia and has a bimodal rainfall pattern. The natural vegetation is characterised by a drier type of vegetation comprising of evergreen trees or shrubs and other native coniferous species.

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