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Ethiopian Sidamo belongs to a series of three trademarked coffee regions, along with Yirgacheffe and Harrar. Located in the fertile highlands of southern Ethiopia, Sidamo is home to some of the best strictly high-grown coffee beans in the world. Cultivated at an elevation of between 5,085 and 7,217 feet above sea level, Sidamo coffees are considered strictly high-grown coffees (1).

Because most Ethiopian coffee beans are shade-grown and cultivated at such high altitudes, the coffee cherries take longer to mature. This longer maturation period, along with the additional nutrients from the surrounding ecosystem, yield a flavorful, sweet, well-balanced cup.Most Sidamo coffee beans are also dried on raised beds. This drying process often results in beans that have sweeter and more floral notes.


Washed Sidamo’s are typically floral upfront and complex. Although rarely monolithic, they still drop a familiar yet elegant zap of citrus and a deep blaze of stonefruit or rue-like herbals. Sometimes both. They’re almost playfully tea-like and fresh.

When we find stonefruit in the cup, it usually hovers around peachy flavors swiftly deglazed by lemon and lime that can remind one of certain types of iced tea. Refreshing and familiar, and of course sweet. Now and again, bergamot-like and black-tea notes come forward, which give the coffee structure.

Washed Sidamo’s are complex but remain accessible coffees in the market.


Mainly citric and usually high-pitched, the lemony-limey brightness brings clarity to the cup. Sometimes highlighted by the sweet tartness of a juicy apple. The malic acidity adds to the cleanliness by sinking the finish into fruity sweetness.


The mouthfeel is more medium to thin than thin to medium. It’s elegant and smooth but in different ways – sometimes in a juicy way which can mean textured like a fruit juice or as soft as your favorite blood-orange pop.

Yet on the thinner side of things, we found them to be “tea-like”. Tea can be weak or strong, but with tea-like, we mean silky, light on the tongue as a gentle veil, with enough presence to carry the subtlety of the profile.