Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee: The Best Coffee You’ve Never Had
Ethiopian Sidamo coffee beans deserve a place in your regular coffee rotation, with their bright acidity and fruity, jammy notes.
How do you brew the best cup of Sidamo coffee? Keep reading to find out.
Ethiopian Cup Quality
In terms of cup quality, Ethiopian coffee beans are highly prized. Ethiopian coffees are also known for the broad range of flavor profiles. From the spicy, jammy notes of Ethiopian Harrar coffee to the floral, tropical notes of Yirgacheffe coffee beans, these unique coffee cherries have a cup profile for every palate.
What Is Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee?
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.
Strictly High-Grown Coffee
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.
Best Brew Method for Ethiopia Sidamo
While you can brew this coffee using any method you prefer, the ideal brew method for these beans is the coffee siphon.
The coffee siphon looks really cool, but it also yields a complex, delicate cup. Last but not least, to bring out the best flavor in these beans, Home Grounds recommends a medium roast.
Understandably, this brew method might be a bit intimidating, so check out this video from Morgan Drinks Coffee for an overview.
Ethiopian Sidamo is the perfect single-origin bean for those mornings when you’re looking for a great, back-to-basics cup. With a medium body, bright finish, and floral, citrus notes, Sidamos are the best place to start if you’re looking to move away from milk-based, espresso drinks.
The best roast level for Sidamo beans is medium roast. While lighter roasts allow you to taste the unique flavor of these heirloom beans, the medium roast will give you a more developed flavor and medium body without the bitterness.
Shade-grown coffee is more flavorful because it absorbs the nutrients from the trees and shrubs that grow around it. What’s more, this type of coffee matures, allowing the sugars to develop and flavor the bean.
Yes, you can use dark roast Sidamo to pull espresso shots for a cappuccino. However, brewing this coffee with a dark roast will yield a cup that has lost much of its natural brightness. This is why gentler methods—like pour-over and the coffee siphon—are best for Sidamo.
In Ethiopian culture, you should always start out with green coffee beans. After thoroughly washing your sidamo coffee, gently roast them over medium heat until the coffee beans are brown, with just a slight sheen of oil.
Next, allow your guests to inhale the aroma of the fresh-roasted beans before grinding them. Using a burr grinder, you’ll want to grind them to a medium-coarse grind.
To start the brewing process, place your ground coffee beans into a small saucepan with boiling water. The ratio will be roughly the same as other immersion methods, like French press, and the time will be similar as well (2).
- Charles, S. (2019, September 24). Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, & More: A Guide to Ethiopian Coffee. Perfect Daily Grind; Perfect Daily Grind. https://perfectdailygrind.com/2019/09/yirgacheffe-sidamo-more-a-guide-to-ethiopian-coffee/
- The Spruce Eats. (2019). Everything to Know About an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. The Spruce Eats. https://www.thespruceeats.com/ethiopian-coffee-ceremony-765830