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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2 Responses to “where are we at with harar?”


  1. 1 Paul

    I’ve had some luck getting the blueberry out of the dry-processed Sidamo, after reading Tom’s note about the blueberry emerging when brewed in the Technivorm. I’ve got to order more. Bay Area roasters may have noticed Peets’ special coffee during September: they called it “Ethiopian Super-natural” and it tasted just like last year’s Harar Lot 30 sounded (having only read the reviews of that one). Talk about blueberry! It was only the second time I’ve bought roasted coffee in the last three years. Curiously, I couldn’t get much of that flavor out of my Silvia; got more when drip-brewed; and hit the jackpot with the presspot. Fascinating how the different preps (of the drink, not the bean) affect the flavors of coffee.

  2. 2 admin

    the ethiopia organic dry process sidamo lot is fantastic. i get wild strawberry from this coffee! it is from a different importer, and i have already made arrangements for next year with the same guy hoping to get a similarily great lot. -tom

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