Flavor profile of a washed Sidamo

The washed Sidamo
flavor profile

There’s nothing more classic than a washed Sidamo. Around the globe, people often associate the Sidamo flavor with the typical Ethiopian coffee flavor. You could accredit this fame to the fact that the ECX and international buyers bundled several unique regions, like Guji and even Yirgacheffe, together under one name, Sidamo.

But as traceability progressed, the regional flavors of Ethiopia were defined and recognized over time. Our regional profile project highlights the diversity of Ethiopian coffees, and in this case, the washed Sidamo flavor profile. Please read what our Q graders found when dissecting countless Sidamo coffee samples, and download the poster to get a visual grasp of this unique profile.


Describing the flavor, acidity,
and mouthfeel of a washed Sidamo

The flavor

Washed Sidamo’s are typically floral upfront and complex. Although rarely monolithic, they still drop a familiar yet elegant zap of citrus and a deep blaze of stonefruit or rue-like herbals. Sometimes both. They’re almost playfully tea-like and fresh.

When we find stonefruit in the cup, it usually hovers around peachy flavors swiftly deglazed by lemon and lime that can remind one of certain types of iced tea. Refreshing and familiar, and of course sweet. Now and again, bergamot-like and black-tea notes come forward, which give the coffee structure.

Washed Sidamo’s are complex but remain accessible coffees in the market.

The acidity

Mainly citric and usually high-pitched, the lemony-limey brightness brings clarity to the cup. Sometimes highlighted by the sweet tartness of a juicy apple. The malic acidity adds to the cleanliness by sinking the finish into fruity sweetness.

And the mouthfeel

The mouthfeel is more medium to thin than thin to medium. It’s elegant and smooth but in different ways – sometimes in a juicy way which can mean textured like a fruit juice or as soft as your favorite blood-orange pop.

Yet on the thinner side of things, we found them to be “tea-like”. Tea can be weak or strong, but with tea-like, we mean silky, light on the tongue as a gentle veil, with enough presence to carry the subtlety of the profile.

Explore the profile, download the flavor poster