Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sidamo Coffee & Tea in Fulton

The coffee at Sidamo Coffee & Tea has become so key to my mornings that the place needs a post of its own.

The Fulton coffee shop opened last year in Maple Lawn, and it serves breakfast, lunch and all the coffee drinks that you would expect.  Ironically, I bought beans there as part of a survey that initially left me convinced that all Howard County coffee shops were created equal.  But Sidamo's coffee was more equal.  I kept going back.  I kept loving the coffee.  By now, Sidamo has been my source for whole beans for almost a year.

Sidamo is the second location for owners who started out on the H Street NE corridor near Capitol Hill.  It's a cheery, sunlit space that kicks off

If anything, I wish Sidamo did more to push its sandwiches.  The chalkboard lists just the generic names, and it took a Washington Post review to talk up the fact that they're imaginative sandwiches made with homemade ingredients like hummus, lentils, etc.  (Update: The sandwiches are delicious -- worth a visit if you need lunch.)

But the coffee has become my real addiction.  I have been addicted to the caffeine since a relapse in 1998, but Sidamo has me addicted to coffee that tastes delicious.  They roast the beans on site in the red metal roaster that sits at the front of the store.  They're heavy on Ethiopian varieties, and I cycle between Mandheling, Sidamo and Yirgacheffe.  They're all full of earthy coffee flavor -- but smooth rather than bitter.

One fun item that I actually haven't seen yet: Sidamo hosts a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony every Sunday at 2 pm.  It's a little theater.  A free lesson about Ethiopian culture.  The WPost described the version at the DC location.

If you want crazy-good coffee, check out Pele Plantation coffee from Hawaii.  These are the people who taught me that coffee doesn't have to be Starbucks-bitter.  Their coffee is delicious and might make a fun gift for the coffee nut in your life.

Sidamo Coffee & Tea
8180 Maple Lawn Boulevard
Fulton, MD 20759

NEAR: Sidamo is in sight of Rte 216 in the Maple Lawn development.  You need to drive around the back of Looney's to park and walk into Sidamo.

Sidamo Coffee & Tea on Urbanspoon


Marcia said...

Do you take your coffee with milk/cream or black? I have found this makes a difference in how the coffee tastes, Starbucks with cream/milk does not taste as bitter as when taken black, other coffees taste great black but not so good when cream/milk is added. Cooks Illustrated confirmed this years ago, something about the proteins in milk products. Just wondering if Sidamo is for me, or would it not be bold enough.

HowChow said...

Absolutely with milk/cream. I come from a long line of black coffee drinkers, and it seems horrible to me. Even a tiny bit of cream makes a difference. So I'm drinking the Sidamos with a dash of milk or half-and-half.

JW said...

I've been addicted to Sidamo ever since I started working next door at i.m.Wine last year. They absolutely know their business. It's nice to see them getting some props.

Marcia, if you ask them, they will grind, and make you a strong cup of any of the coffee's they have on hand, you're not just limited to the coffee's of the day.

Jon @ i.m.Wine

AlPal3 said...

Best cup of coffee in town and the lady that runs the place is a sweetheart.

Marcia said...

Went to Sidamo today, and you are all right. The coffee is wonderful! Unfortunately it's not in my normal travel path, but when I go to my mom's apt. in Leisure World it's right on my way. Thanks for the review!