On October 1st, 2009, paleontologists discovered a complete skeleton of Ardipithecus, one of humanity’s oldest ancestors. Nicknamed ‘Ardi’, this discovery was significant since it shed light on the earliest periods of our species, dating back nearly 4.4 million years. This same region would play host to another discovery, days later, of a varietal which would later adopt the name of Ardi. Ethiopia is not only the home to the birth of mankind, but also home of the indigenous coffee plant, which grows wild in forests all around the country. These two discoveries help show how close our connection has been with coffee, since its mythical origins of discovery by Kaldi, the goat herder, to the first documented time as a consumed beverage in the fifteenth-century. Our coupled history with this plant is mostly due to geographical proximity, but has somehow found its way around the planet and into the modern-day.
Sidamo is a region of Ethiopia built upon this history. Since the founding of the Kingdom of Kaffa in the fourteenth-century, coffee cultivation has been a practice ever since. The region is known for producing some of the most diverse illustrations of acidity, ranging from dry, red wines to highly perceptible notes of blueberry. In some part, this has much to do with the dry processing that has made Ethiopian coffees some of the most unique. The Sidamo region is known for utilizing both washed and dried-processing methods, but the dry-processed coffees tend to exemplify the qualities which make this region distinct. The ripe coffee cherries are hand-picked and then left to dry on raised beds, where for a period of two weeks they are turned every three hours to ensure even drying.
What has emerged is a coffee that takes on a more skewed and less balanced flavor. For the Sidamo Ardi, this has resulted in an almost distilled fruit flavor, mostly due to the drying period in which the cherry pulp is left on the seed until it is removed. Aromatically, this coffee encapsulates Kirsch chocolate, combining the nose of brandy with the semi-sweet taste of cherries and dark chocolate. The finish is clean with remnants of the cocoa resonating on the palate. As a slow-drip Kyoto cold-brew coffee, the Ardi retains these same elements while magnifying the body and aromatics, creating an impression more closely resembling Bourbon.