Ethiopia Idido is famous in the world of Ethiopian Coffee. Named for the village located just a few kilometers from the cooperative and mill that were among the first in the world to craft meticulously prepared natural processed coffees under the name ‘Idido Misty Valley’. Like many cooperatives in Ethiopia, Idido has all of the right ingredients for turning out some of the best coffees in the world: high altitude, sound processing techniques, fertile soils, and heirloom varietals.
Idido was established in the late 1970′s and joined the ranks of Yirgacheffe Farmer’s Union in 2002. The cooperative has roughly 1,000 active members who cultivate farms averaging 1.5 hectares. We visited this cooperative in November of 2011 and were very pleased with the level of interest and engagement from members of the cooperative.
A few years ago, the Ethiopian government set up a group called the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange. The goal of ECX was to ensure farmers fair, timely payment for their coffees and circumvent the questionable practices of many exporters (theft, mislabeling product, etc.). Sounds great, right?
Well, it mostly was. Unfortunately, the side effect was a homogenization of Ethiopia’s coffee exports. A lot of Ethiopian coffees were being shipped all over the world and consumers didn’t know where these beans were coming from. So whenever you see a roaster’s online store and the most specific range of information they can offer about an Ethiopian coffee is that it comes from Yirgacheffe, now you know at least one reason why—the roaster has no way of knowing which farm or cooperative their beans came from!
Because the Idido Cooperative is sanctioned by the Ethiopian government, it, essentially, bypasses the ECX. Importers, roasters, and consumers can be assured these coffees are high-quality and traceable. Farmers in the cooperative also benefit from the direct relationship, receiving assistance with processing techniques, facilities, and stations. This relationship results in higher premiums for the coffees and, ultimately, a better quality of life for all those involved.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Idido, from Patriot Coffee Roasters in Lakeland, Florida. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Ethiopia Idido Cooperative
elevation: 1850 – 1880 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom, Typica
The aroma of this Ethiopia Idido is much more similar to a Sidama than a Yirgacheffe, and certainly unique from other Ethiopia Idido’s I’ve had in the past. In my experience, Ethiopia Idido is an elegant, floral coffee and has a perfumed, fragrant aroma to match. This take on the Idido is much more berry-forward, with plenty of caramelized sugars mixed in. It’s a hearty, sturdy aroma.
My first few sips from the cup present my palate with a moderately full-bodied, fully developed coffee with a juicy mouthfeel. Again, this is a very berry-forward coffee; but it doesn’t taste like fresh, bright berries, the way you’d think. Instead (and perhaps due to the roast level of this coffee), the berries taste stewed, as if they were cooked to become a jelly or syrup. There’s also a heavy presence of caramelized sugars—vanilla, caramel, nougat… Flavors reminiscent of dulce de leche. As the coffee cools, it becomes a bit brighter and silkier as notes of nectarine and cherry come forward.
Patriot Coffee Roasters’s take on the Ethiopia Idido provided me a unique cupping experience. The Idido is a coffee that, in my own personal experience, is an elegant and perfumed fruity/floral affair; not so with this iteration. Patriot’s take on it was much more fully developed than the others I’ve had in the past. That’s not to say it was over-roasted, by the way; it wasn’t overdone at all. Personally, if I were the roaster, I probably would have shied away from that approach; if Patriot would have done the same, though, they wouldn’t have produced this gem.
This Ethiopia Idido was fully developed, full-bodied, and featured a voluptuous flavor profile. Big flavors of mixed jellied berries, caramelized sugars, and nectarine that really took me by surprise and delighted my taste buds.
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.