Farm info

Zelelu Ararso grows coffee in the Wenago district of the Gedeo Zone in the Yirgacheffe coffee area of Ethiopia. He is a member of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, which helps him export his coffee with full traceability. Zelelu Ararso’s farm ranges in elevation 1700-2000 meters above sea level and was processed at the YCFCU’s washing station near his home. This lot of washed coffee is dried on raised beds after being fully washed and sorted.

Zelelu and his wife, Kasech Zelelu, are model farmers and have received medals at the regional and federal levels in recognition of the coffees they grow. Their farm includes a hand depulper with a capacity of 400kg/hour.

The coffee varieties in this lot, heirloom locally selected sub variety 74110 and 74112, were developed in the 1970’s at the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) for resistance to the coffee berry disease. These two varieties begin with “74” to indicate their cataloging and selection in 1974.

Variety 74110 was selected from an original “mother tree” in the Bishari village, Metu Province, Illuababora zone, Oromia region. After researching its resistance to coffee berry disease and overall yield, JARC released the variety in 1979. 74110 trees are short and compact, with small leaves, cherries, and beans.

Variety 74112 also originates in the Metu-Bishari forest and was similarly released in 1979 for its disease resistance and yield potential. Its trees, too, are small and compact. Both varieties grow well in climates similar to those where the the original mother trees grew.

Explore Ethiopia’s Coffee Regions.



Literally translated as “Land of Many Springs,” Yirgacheffe has the ideal topography, elevation, and water sources to produce and process exceptional coffees. Yirgacheffe is one of the woredas, a district like a municipality or county that includes many towns, of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia and gives its name to the broader Yirgacheffe coffee area of which it is a part.

Coffee farmers in Yirgacheffe are typically multi-generational, small-scale landholders, sometimes with only a few acres of land. Most coffees in Yirgacheffe are sold as cherry to centralized washing stations that help further separate flavor profiles. Many farmers also grow the subsistence crop enset ventricosum, also known as false banana.

Yirgacheffe is considered by many to be the birthplace of coffee and the coffee trees grown in the region are a naturally occurring mix of heirloom varietals cultivated among other species in coffee gardens and coffee forests. Washed Coffee was introduced to Ethiopia in the 1970’s, and Yirgacheffe was the location of the first wet processing mill.

The climate in Yirgacheffe is warm and temperate. In the winter, there is much less rainfall than the summer, with an annual average of 1525mm and a difference of 246mm of precipitation between the wettest and driest months. The average temperature across Yirgacheffe is 18.4 degrees Celsius.