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Ethiopian WP Sidamo Grade 2

February 22, 2006
Bob Yellin

This coffee was cupped blind, side-by-side with 2 coffees from other origins, and was roasted twice, first light (City) and then to a Full-City level. The coffee was rested for about 18 hours prior to the initial formal cupping, and then 2 to 3 more days prior to brewing and pulling espresso shots. For more information on my roaster and method, see our reference page.

Generally speaking, wet-processed Sidamos tend to take a back seat to their close, higher-grown cousin, WP Yirgacheffe. In addition, recently, dry-processed Sidamos have stolen a bit of the spotlight as well due to their favorable showing at last year's E-Cafe competition. But now and then a WP Sidamo comes along that reminds us how enjoyable they can be, and this is one such coffee.

As the roast passes through first crack, one gets a preview whiff of the floral, fruity, dry zest fragrance that later presents itself in the cup. Indeed, this is a very sweet and aromatic example of what a fine DP Sidamo should be. Well-balanced, light-to-medium-bodied, not in the least sour, even as a light roast, fine acidity with a long finish, this coffee though one-dimensionally lemony, is thoroughly enjoyable.

But where it really shines is in a milk drink. The lemon is subdued and subtle and seemingly from nowhere, milk chocolate appears combining with coconut and caramel to produce a delightful experience. As a SO espresso, not surprisingly, the coffee is one-dimensional and sour. But add some milk and... wow! Or try it as a French press brew to experience most of what I tasted in the cup.

Dry fragrance: 4.5
Wet Aroma: 4.4
Flavor: 7.7
Finish: 8.0
Acidity: 7.7
Body: 7.0
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 89.3

  • Lighter Roasts: Best this way for brewed drinks, with or without milk.
  • Darker Roasts: Should not be roasted too dark in order to retain its floral characteristics. A full city roast strikes a good balance between roast flavors and the high-toned floral/fruit qualities.
  • As Espresso: Not recommended as a straight shot but excellent as a cappuccino.


UPDATED: June 27, 2005