Noble Coffee Roasting - Decaf Ethiopia Sidama$16
- Great balance
- Delicious caramel aftertaste
- No apparent quality lost in decaffeination
- Versatile across brew methods
Another awesome decaf coffee arrived in the mail about half a year ago (yes, I’m THAT far behind with my reviews) through my MistoBox subscription, this one coming from Noble Coffee Roasting out of Ashland, OR.
At the time of this review, I was already familiar with another Ashland roaster in Case Coffee Roasters, but I had no idea that Noble Coffee Roasting existed, nor that it was located a mere 5 minutes away from Case.
And after giving this coffee a try, I knew I would have to check it out Noble’s shop the next time I passed through Ashland. And I was recently able to do that!
About Noble Coffee
As I mentioned before, Noble Coffee Roasting is a specialty coffee roaster located in Ashland, Oregon.
As a state, Oregon is clearly loaded with powerhouse coffee roasters like Stumptown, Heart, Cuveé, Extracto, just to name a few, but tiny little Ashland is home to some of Oregon’s best coffee (in my opinion), with Case and Noble at the forefront of the scene.
Okay, so my experience with both of these roasters is somewhat limited…but you’ll see in the future that I’ve actually tried more coffee from both of these roasters than I currently have published on the site. So, stay tuned for those reviews.
Anyways, Noble is hands-down one of the most beautiful coffee shops I’ve ever been to (I visited in August 2016). It’s modern, sleek, and has ample space for patrons to spread out and enjoy coffee, pastries, and good ole’ conversation.
There is a very large coffee bar at the back of the shop where customers order and pick up their drinks.
Here’s where it gets really good though…
You can order any of the coffees they roast, depending on what you’re in the mood for. This gives you more options, which I suppose could either be a good thing or a bad thing.
The cherry on top is that you can also choose your preferred brew method, which includes both Siphon and Chemex as options. Now, Noble certainly isn’t the only shop that serves Siphon-brew coffee, but it is the first shop I’ve seen serve Chemex!
About The Producers and Decaffeination Process
The Decaf Sidama was produced in the Sidama Zone of Southern Ethiopia by what I’m going to assume is a culmination of different Ethiopian coffee farmers. The reason I’m assuming this is because the Ethiopian Sidama is a blend, which means the coffee in the bag all comes from a different source.
The decaffeination process used on this coffee is known as the Mountain Water Process, which is a chemical-free decaffeination method.
According to Colorado Coffee Company, the Mountain Water Process involves saturating the green coffee beans with water from glaciers on the Pico de Orizaba mountain in Mexico, and then filtering the coffee oils and caffeine that rise to the top of the water before finally reintegrating the caffeine-free coffee oils back into the coffee.
This is a process that is handled by a company called Sanroke, but I am not sure if this is who Noble contracts to decaffeinate their coffees through this method.
In any case, it’s supposed to be one of the best decaffeination processes because of how it preserves most of the coffee’s original flavor, unlike many other decaffeination processes.
General Notes & Observations
Country of Origin: Ethiopia
Region: Sidama Zone (Southern Ehiopia)
Variety: Indigenous Ethiopian Heirloom
Processing method: Natural/dry-processed (Mountain Water decaffeination)
Growing altitude: Unknown
Aroma: cinnamon, cherry, rootbeer, burnt rubber
Roaster tasting notes: Nougat, dried cherry, nutmeg
Coffee Concierge tasting notes: Caramel, cherry, licorice
My best results were with the Wave, which brought out a nice cherry brightness up-front followed by a delightful caramel finish.
If you’re new here, you can check out how I rate whole bean coffee here.
Cherry acidity up-front was pretty strong despite the darker roast of this coffee.
The aftertaste of the Ethiopia Sidama is rich, full-bodied, and full of caramel flavor notes. Easily one of the highlights of this coffee.
This was a complex aroma that I had a hard time articulating. There were elements of burnt rubber, licorice, cinnamon, and slight cherry.
One of the main reasons I loved the Ethiopia Sidama was because of its incredible balance. Fruity notes up-front were balanced by smokier flavors at the finish. Very drinkable in my opinion.
Full-bodied, which was perhaps a little bit unexpected given that a lot of the natural coffee oils are initially removed in the decaffeination process. Hey, when did I ever say that I knew what I was talking about?
In any case, the Ethiopia Sidama had a nice mouthfeel overall.
If anything, the complexity of this coffee was in its aroma. Otherwise, the flavor was consistently simple from brew-to-brew.
This coffee has great flavor, and I don’t think anybody would know it was decaffeinated if they tried it blindly. I had very few bad brews, if any.
It was hard to mess up the Ethiopia Sidama. I think its simple flavor profile really helped in this category.
I wouldn’t call it sweet, but it was still pleasing. If anything, I would say that this is more of a savory coffee than it is sweet.
I’m confident that this would be a great coffee for espresso and immersion given the nature of its flavors and overall balance. Yes, I mostly stuck to drip methods here, but sometimes you just know…ya know?
Of the decaf coffees I’ve had the chance to sample and review this year, the Ethiopia Sidama is close to the best, if not the best.
I recommend it to anybody who likes savory flavor notes with slight hints of fruit up-front.
If you’re looking for something that is clean, floral, and perhaps a bit sweeter, I’d probably seek out alternative options like Populace Coffee’s Decaf Colombia Caldono that I reviewed recently.
You can buy the Decaf Ethiopia Sidama from Noble Coffee right off their website.