Getting to Know Sidra Coffee

Posted on 31/10/2022

What is Sidra Coffee

Sidra Coffee (also known as Sydra or Bourbon Sidra). While not very popular at first, this variety has become increasingly prominent at WCC events – and is especially used by 2019 World Barista Champion Jooyeon Jeon in his winning routine and 2022 World Barista Championship winner Anthony Douglas.

When contacted for comment, World Coffee Research said Sidra had no clear genetic identity. Sidra could be several different varieties that farmers call the same name – something the organization says is common in the coffee industry given the lack of a formal seed sector.

While it is universally difficult to define the taste profile of Ethiopian varieties, they generally have more floral and fruit characteristics. Sidra also has a similar cup profile, with a high level of sweetness.

Where did Sidra grow up?

Although genetically related to Ethiopia, Sidra is mainly produced in South America - especially in Ecuador and Colombia. The variety grows between 1,650 and 1,800 masl.

One of the first coffee plantations to grow Sidra commercially was La Palma y El Tucán in Cundinamarca, Colombia. Producers planted about 1,800 Sidra trees in 2012, followed by an additional 4,300 in 2015 as the variety became more popular in the specialty coffee sector.

Sidra plants are characterized by thick stems and can grow up to 4 meters high. They produce dark green leaves and have elongated five-petal flowers, with cherries growing tightly along the branches. Cherries are also larger and rounder than other arabica varieties with pointed ends. The seeds of the Sidra variety are generally longer and thinner than most arabica varieties - similar to Gesha.

José Pepe Jijón, owner of Finca Soledad – a coffee plantation in the province of Imbabura, Ecuador, explains some of Sidra's other similarities with Gesha. “Just like Gesha, Sidra needs shade to grow successfully. Some say Sidra originally grew up in the forest. Sidra needs an ecosystem, so it cannot be grown in full sun conditions. Sidra produces high yields and is resistant to several pests and diseases, but not coffee leaf rust”.