Daily Archive for October 5th, 2006

yemen sana’ani was my secret

i got caught trying to add a coffee to the list and not telling everyone. the fact is i wanted to re-roast and recup the new yemen sana’ani again, maybe tweak the review a little, and make the flavor quality analysis graph. anyway, the review is true, the best yemen i have found in a long time. the fact is, we shipped this lot with a mattari, and with an ismaili (a very hard to source coffee), and we had to reject these two. the mattari was okay in the dark roasts, but i just could not get excited about it. the ismaili had faded a lot from the pre-ship samples i cupped, and it would have disappointed you all. i mean, i could have offered it with a big asterik by the name, and explained it was mild, and had just a trace of that ismaili spice to it. but i wouldn’t feel good doing that. the name connotes something for you all, as it does for me; this lot just missed the bar. anyway, on a better note, the sana’ani works really well as a tangy, fruited light roast, or full-city+ to vienna with chocolate and spice abundant. it definitely did make the bar… -tom

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where are we at with harar?

a question from the home roast list

>Anyone know when the Ethiopian Harrar is obtainable (in season)? I’m
>interested in seeing if I can pull the blueberry notes out of the
>bean… - Kevin

It’s late in the season now, and basically it was only the first arrival that had over-the-top blueberry. Our special prep lot was balanced, but didn’t have extreme berry notes. I commissioned that special lot preparation on the Green Stripe as an experiment, but also because I had a feeling it was a “down year” for Harar in general. I think it was, overall, because I cup a lot of lots and throughout the season they just kept dropping in quality, and so many were simply dusty tasting, hay, dry earth.

Anyway, you can get blueberry from the Ethiopia Dry Process Sidamo lot we have now. This is from a new exporter I am trying to work with (he’s a pain because he can’t get anything done on time…) however the coffee he shipped was
outstanding. Obvious second recommendation is the Idido Misty Valley which is an unbelievable coffee in terms of fruit. Wet-process Ethiopias have been great this year but those don’t have berry notes in general, more citrus and floral. I start to look at incoming new crop Harar in January and February (pre-shipment samples). The problem with Pre-Ship samples from Africa is they never arrive tasting the same- huge flavor shifts. So you can’t count on knowing much in advance of arrival lots, and you just have to source them widely and roast them all to find the gems.

Tom

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