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Believe it or not, this may be the first coffee we've had from the Sidama region in Ethiopia roasted by our friends at Origin, at least in recent memory. This is despite almost a decade of collaboration and dozens of delicious Ethiopian coffees. How can that be?! After all, Sidama is one of the more famous coffee-producing regions within the country that people believe to be the birthplace of coffee.
The answer to this question is somewhat complicated, but it has to do with the way Ethiopia exports coffee and how that has changed. Just a few years ago, all Ethiopian coffee was sold through the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange. The merits and demerits of that system are too complex a topic for treatment here, but one of the impacts of this system was that Ethiopian coffees were sold mainly by region and grade, not by provenance from specific washing stations or estates.
This has changed, and you can now buy Ethiopian coffee directly from specific washing stations, like the one this coffee comes from, Keramo. We think this is a good thing; it allows exceptional lots to be selected, separated and sold for the premiums that they deserve.
The most celebrated regions in Ethiopia, like Yirgacheffe, were the early beneficiaries of this change in exporting regulations, but now, other coffee-producing areas are also getting involved. Sidama, also known as Sidamo as recently as 2020, is stepping up to claim its rightful spot amongst the most recognised and prized origins for coffee within Ethiopia.
Keramo washing station is in the Girja village and works with several hundred smallholder farmers from around the area to process and sort their crops. Founded by Asefa Dukamo in 1997, Keramo tackles community support as well as commerce, offering training and infrastructure to help uplift farmers.
Phaedon's tasting notes
I was pretty excited to get my hands on my first Sidama from Origin and I wasn't disappointed. When I cupped the coffee, I was really taken with the medley of fruit flavours I tasted as it cooled. There was apple, melon, and a bit of orange, with a fresh juicy quality.
In my manual brewing adventures, I wasn't surprised to find those flavours carry through to a lovely V60 pour-over. The coffee also made a sensational, very apple-flavoured AeroPress and a candy-sweet moka pot with a hint of berry.
- Flavour: Baked red apple, grilled marshmallow, caramel toffee
- Body: Custard, medium-full
- Roast: Medium
- Acidity: Mellow, Winter (green / honeydew) Melon
- At its best: Pourover, siphon, plunger, moka pot, AeroPress
- Owner: 381 smallholder producers
- Region: Keramo Station, Sidama
- Country: Ethiopia
- Altitude: 2,260 to 2,360 masl
- Varieties: JARC Selection 74158
- Processing: Fully washed
- Average producer's area under coffee: less than 5 hectares