Before the days of social distancing, back when Java Blend was its usual bustling self, we’d hear customers asking for Ardi every few days. No surprise; with its juicy flavour profile and limited availability, this specialty coffee has gained somewhat of a reputation as a “gateway bean” – one that’s credited with converting everyday coffee drinkers into full-blown enthusiasts.
A celebration of origins
This year’s Ardi is a natural processed heirloom bean variety, grown in the beautiful Sidama region of Ethiopia. Trademarked by Keffa in 2009, the name Ardi was inspired by the discovery made in the same year of Ardipithecus ramidus (Ardi for short), a 4.4 million-year-old fossil hominid that would have lived in what is now Ethiopia. While Ardi didn’t turn out to be the “missing link” ancestor between apes and humans as scientists hoped, it revealed new information about human origins. Since Ethiopia also happens to be the origin of the coffee tree, we think the name Ardi makes for a nice link after all.
Process and flavour profile
A combination of high altitude conditions and drying techniques results in Ardi’s uniquely sweet tasting notes of grape, chocolate and red apple. The Sidama region’s high elevation means its beans tend to ripen more slowly in cooler temperatures. This allows coffee cherries to develop sweeter, more acidic flavours. Drying coffee cherries in their fruit also contributes to Ardi’s distinct, fruity flavour. In Guji, the Ardi processing centre is lined with ribbons of brown and blonde—raised drying beds filled with natural and washed beans set out to dry in in the sun. Natural (brown) beans are still covered with the dried fruit of the coffee cherry, while washed (blonde) beans have been stripped of their fruit and will soon be packed, stored and shipped – some making their way to Halifax.
It’s always a treat to have the opportunity to roast specialty beans like Ardi, and we can’t wait to share this limited supply with you.