Preserving the native coffee plant in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is widely considered the birthplace of coffee. This is why the Fondazione Ernesto Illy, illycaffè and the University of Addis Ababa launched a 4-year project in 2010 to conduct research to identify and select the original variety of Ethiopian coffee, in relation to the social-environmental conditions that have allowed and stimulated the development of this high quality coffee profile.

The objective was to promote the preservation and the development of the Arabica coffee species, as well as obtaining a collection of coffee plants that have spontaneously grown in the natural forests of Ethiopia.

The project came about thanks to an intuition and stimulus of Ernesto Illy, and by his inclination to collect and develop the varieties found in plantations and in the native areas where coffee grow.

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