The Sidamo Zone, named after the Sidama people, is located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia. With a population of approximately 3.2 million people, the Sidamo zone is the country’s leading producer of green coffee beans. The coffee growing regions of Sidamo lie in the famous Great Rift Valley, which runs through Ethiopia and Kenya. Many of the farmers in Sidamo grow their own unique varietals on excess land found around their residences. They will harvest the coffee cherries and deliver them to processing sites, which will result in a blend of mixed heirlooms – this is what gives Sidamo coffee its exquisite complexity.
The Sidamo zone is northeast of Lake Abaya and southeast of Lake Awasa. The climate conditions vary across the zone based on the altitude above sea level, with the majority of the area being fertile. Warm conditions cover over 50% of the area, with an elevation of 1,500 – 2,500 meters above sea level. Kolla, the hot climate zone, covers 30% of the total area, with the mountainous highlands covering the remaining portion of the Sidamo Zone.
Sidamo features a wide variety of coffee flavours, with many different grades of both washed & unwashed produced. The varying soil types, micro climates and coffee tree varietals contribute to a mixing pot of different flavours. This is also what makes it difficult to assign cupping notes to Sidamo coffee.
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