Ethiopia is the birthplace of Arabica Coffee, the most cultivated coffee species worldwide. It is home to a full range of complex and unique flavour profiles and also to the oldest coffee consuming tradition.
85% of the Ethiopian production are natural (sundried) processed coffees, the remaining 15% are washed. Ethiopia starts harvesting coffee in September/October in lowland regions and by the end of January 95% of the crop should have been harvested. Washed coffees start shipping in January and naturals in late March.
The Sidamo region is in Southern Ethiopia. It includes the coffees internally designated as Sidamo A (which has a flavour profile close to Guji), Sidamo B (Amaro, Aleta Wendo), Sidamo C (Gurage, Wollaita, Kembata Tembaro), Sidamo D (Bale, Arsi) and Sidamo E (Basketo, Forest B). These coffees can be used to create the commercial export grades Sidamo 2 (washed) and Sidamo 4 (natural).
One of the most important features of Sidamo coffee is flavour complexity, which derives from the different varietals found in the region (heirloom). Coffee is pooled at farm gate level, coming from many small farmers. This creates a blend that gives Sidamo its complexity in the cup.