In October 2009, Samuel Demisse read about the discovery of a 4.4 million year old human fossil found in Ethiopia. He was very fascinated by the news and decided to brand the Guji coffee he was cupping at the time under the name of “Ardi” as a tribute.
Demisse is the sole importer of coffees in this region and has a lot of family that works at the farm level; because of his close ties to the community and to the coffee, he is more able to purchase coffee and work directly with mills outside of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange.
This coffee is from Nardos, a mill that is located in the Guji area of Sidamo, Ethiopia. Guji is located in southern Ethiopia in the Oromio Zone. It is one of the many small villages in the Borena Hagermariam district. The mill is located in the Guji area of Sidamo zone near the small village of Michicha.
The population here is only between two to three thousand, and most of these people depend on coffee as their main source of income.
This is a naturally processed coffee, which helps to yield the typical flavors that are found in the cup. In order to control the drying process of this coffee it is first dried for two weeks on raised beds in the sun. There are several women who clean the coffee as it dries. Any under-ripe cherry stands in stark contrast to all the red cherries on the bed. All the under-ripe cherries are removed, and after two weeks, the coffee is set to dry again on a concrete patio.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Ardi Ethiopia Sidama Michicha Natural, from BeanFruit Coffee Company in Flowood, Mississippi. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Michicha, Sidama, Ethiopia
farm: Nardos mill
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1700 – 1800 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: natural, raised bed dried
The aroma coming off of this Ardi Ethiopia is subtle and soft, with a bouquet of floral aromatics (cherry blossom and rose hips), a red wine complexity, honey, and mixed berries.
The first few sips of this coffee are so incredible. It is so decadent, so thick, so full-bodied. Deep, rich, dark chocolate greets the palate up front while a beautifully supple winey-ness pervades the whole cup—in terms of flavor, acidity, and mouthfeel.
This coffee has all the markings of a Merlot; it has both the fruit bombs and the fermentation that natural coffees often possess, it has the bittersweetness. A big bowl of mixed berries (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry), bosc pear, pineapple, orange, maraschino cherry, rhubarb pie, strawberry, raisin, nougat, and just the faintest hints of cantaloupe.
Full body; winey mouthfeel; citrus acidity; dry finish.
the bottom line:
This is such a fabulous coffee. This is my third round with the Ardi and it hasn’t gotten any less incredible.
The Ardi Ethiopia Sidama Michicha Natural, from BeanFruit Coffee Company, is so full-bodied, so full-flavored, and so full of personality that a mug can hardly contain it! Don’t be fooled by my tasting notes, though—this isn’t a bright or lively coffee. It’s not intensely tropical or effervescent. No, the Ardi has a low-end intensity with its booming chocolate and berries.
If the term “bombs” makes you think of huge flavors exploding all over the palate, think of the Ardi’s flavors more as a low thunder rumbling in the distance.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.