Idido natural - ETHIOPIA
Idido natural grade 1
score: 87.50
      • Process: Natural
      • Quality: grade 1
      • Farm: Washing station Idido
      • Variety: Heirloom
      • Crop: 2017
      • Location: Idido
      • Altitude: 1800 – 2100m
      • Average temperature: 15 - 25°C
      • Relative humidity: 60 - 75%
      • Average annual rainfall: 1900 mm.
Rich, coating mouthfeel, big sweetness, orange, florals, melon

Idido is a cooperative in the village of Idido, close to the the town of Yirgacheffe in the Gedeo zone of southern Ethiopia. The Idido cooperative and its more than 1000 members are part of the Yirgacheffe Farmers Cooperative. The Idido cooperative works with growers from neighbouring villages Aricha, Direto, Ela Tenecha, Gersse, Bowicha, H Badmie, Charbanita and Idido itself, where the centralized wet mill is located. The growers take their cherries here after the day’s harvest for processing. This natural processed coffee from Idido was dried in thin layers on raised drying beds. To avoid over-fermentation and mold, the cherries are turned every 3 hours in the first few days. Depending on weather conditions, 5-6 weeks later the beans are hulled.

The cleaned and dried beans are stored in a warehouse with a region label, and are graded. Typically, the coffees are sold to exporters on the commodity exchange. These exporters can sell to the international coffee market.


In the Gedeo zone, coffee is typically grown on a very small scale in the garden of the producer, where it is intercropped with other subsistence crops. The red-brown soils in the area have a high iron content and a depth over 1.5m. Now why is this important for coffee, you may ask.

Deep soils allow for the development of an extensive root system, meaning that the coffee plant can get more nutrients and moisture from the soil. A deeper root system also means stronger and taller trees. Soil depth also dictates the soil moisture storage and nutrient storage capacity. Deeper soils naturally have more nutrients and moisture available for the plants growing in them. Plants obtain nutrients through air, water and the soil. Soil and its nutrients can be regionally specific, varying with local geology.

The soils in Gedeo, as mentioned before, have a high iron content. Iron is one of the micro-nutrients that play an important role in the coffee plant’s functioning. The nutrient is needed to produce chlorophyll, which is essential for photosynthesis, allowing the plant to absorb energy from light. High iron soils, together with many other factors of course, give the plant more energy to grow and produce cherries.

Konga, located in the Gedeo zone of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is widely believed to be the birthplace of the fruit we all cherish. Adding to the international fascination for the country’s coffee, a huge genetic diversity of coffee varieties is found in the natural forests, making Ethiopian coffee a big point of interest for international research. Coffee started its worldwide journey in Ethiopia, from where it first traveled to the Arab world and then to Asia.

Growing regions

Coffee is mainly produced in the southwestern and southeastern parts of the country in the Oromia region and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People Regions (SNNPR). Coffee producers are mostly smallholder farmers who have farms of less than 2 hectares on average. These producers supply about 95% of the country’s total production. The coffee growing areas are divided in different regions, each maintaining their distinct flavor characteristics. The three main regions where Ethiopian coffee beans are grown are Harrar, Ghimbi, and Sidamo.


Coffee production in Ethiopia remains largely traditional, typically with limited use of fertilizers and pesticides and with a manual coffee cultivation system and drying methods. There are four different ways of producing coffee in Ethiopia:

forest coffee: a wild coffee grown under the shade of natural forest trees, with no defined owner.
semi – forest coffee: Semi-forest coffee farming is a system where a farmer living near by a forest coffee does some thinning and pruning on the forest coffee to finally claim ownership of the forest coffee. The thinning will allow adequate light to reach the coffee plant without exposing the plant to too much sunlight. The farmer who prunes and weeds the forest area claims to be the owner of the semi-forest coffee and collect the annual yield of the plant.
garden coffee: normally found in the vicinity of a farmer’s residence. Farmers use organic fertilizers to produce Garden coffee and inter-crop it with other crops.
plantation coffee: coffee is produced on commercial farms, which were built by the government or private investors. This coffee is typically destined for export. Fertilizers and herbicides are usually used in this coffee plantation farming system.

Ethiopia is one of the few countries where coffee trade is not liberalized. All coffee traders must purchase coffee through the ECX (Ethiopian Commodities Exchange) market with the only exceptions for co-operatives and large scale growers. These can trade coffee internationally outside the ECX Market by merely obtaining quality certification from the ECX laboratories.

Coffee marketing takes place at three different marketing levels. First, coffee farmers and suppliers trade coffee at the local wet mill. Some mills pay better prices for better quality cherries. After processing and drying, the mill takes the parchment coffee to a warehouse. The lots get a region label and are graded based on physical and cup quality. Second, at the ECX Addis Ababa floor coffee is sold and bought in an open auction system. The third level is the usual international coffee market where exporters sell coffee to importers. The coffee export business is reserved for citizens of Ethiopia. Out of the total number of coffee exporting companies, 93% are private companies, 5% are coffee growing farmers’ cooperative unions, and 2% are government enterprises.

The Ethiopian government established the ECX to handle the marketing of agricultural commodities like coffee, sesame, and beans. Nearly all coffee is sold on the ECX floor either directly through organized coffee producer’s cooperatives or middlemen. ECX is a public market facilitating institution that was established in 2008 with the help of USAID. The main reason for establishing ECX was to eliminate the huge number of middlemen involved in coffee distribution and to enable coffee farmers to benefit from prevailing market prices.

Grading system

The grades recognized for export in Ethiopia are grades 1 to 5 and the undergrade or UG. Grade 1 represents the highest quality. Washed coffees typically reach the grade two category easily because of the generally uniform ripeness of the harvested cherries and the country’s coffee processing know-how. The grade is a combination of cup quality and physical appearance and defects. Natural coffees were traditionally regarded as easier, cheaper commercial grades, sold as grade 4 or 5. Nowadays, the trend of properly processing natural coffees from good cherries has made grade 1 or 2 naturals appear in the marketplace. More often though, naturals will be offered as a grade 3 because of tradition when it can easily achieve the grade 1 or 2 label.