This Grade 1 quality natural Sidama coffee is from the Hagermaryam ward, located within the Guji zone, which lies within the Southern Nation, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR). There are roughly 700 farmers that contribute to the privately owned Cheri mill. The coffee is dried on raised beds for roughly 21-24 days depending on the weather.*
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Hagermaryam Guji, from Honest Coffee Roasters in Franklin, Tennessee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Sidama, Hagermaryam, Ethiopia
farm: Cheri Mill
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 2000 – 2300 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: natural, raised bed dried
This coffee’s aroma, immediately upon opening the packaging, is exactly what you’d expect from a natural Sidama. A big fruit bomb (blueberry, strawberry, watermelon, cherry) explodes out of the bag and fills my entire brewing station. There are scents of dark chocolate and honey present as well, but they pale in comparison to that berry bomb.
One thing I’ve experienced here at the Table countless times over the past few years is lightly roasted Ethiopian naturals that have a huge fermented berry bomb right out of the gate and a collapse through the finish once the coffee starts cooling off. It’s a big fireworks show that just kind of fizzles out. With my first few sips of this cup, it’s clear that Honest went a different route with this natural Sidama. It has a bit of a darker complexion—a more fully-developed flavor profile; just a bit roastier than most other natural Ethiopias I’ve had in the past.
With that in mind, the coffee is pretty full-bodied, features a rich, creamy mouthfeel, and I’m tasting a bit of earth, nuances of baking spices, and a whole lot of cocoa powder. I don’t start tasting those famouse natural Sidama fruit flavors until the cup starts cooling off and, when I do, they don’t present as a fermented berry bomb. Instead, these juicy fruits slowly seep through and before gushing over the tongue: golden kiwi, yellow currant, watermelon Jolly Rancher, blueberry, and clementine.
Full body; creamy mouthfeel; citric acidity; dry finish
One thing I’ve experienced here at the Table countless times over the past few years is lightly roasted Ethiopian naturals that have a huge fermented berry bomb right out of the gate and a collapse through the finish once the coffee starts cooling off. It’s a big fireworks show that just kind of fizzles out after a short while.
The Ethiopia Hagermaryam Guji, from Honest Coffee Roasters, on the other hand, was the exact opposite cupping experience. While it started off fairly nondescript (a bit of roast, earth, etc), it progressed into a sweet cup of of cocoa and baking spices, before exploding with a lively, juicy, tropical-fruity finish. Honest took a coffee that we’ve experienced a million times and did something really unique with it.
*content courtesy of Olam Specialty Coffee
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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.