Harar for Our Last Cupping
Thursday’s cupping welcomed back one of our favorites – Ethiopia Harar. I think it’s been about a year since we have carried this coffee- But this lot is well worth the wait. In a nutshell, the Harar is of the Arabica variety, is native to Ethiopia and was first cultivated in Yemen. Josh, our cupping leader this week, was in charge of expanding this nutshell and awakening our palates to this coffees’ particular taste profile.
There are a couple of things we find fascinating about the Ethiopia Harar: These coffees are grown in the Harar region on the Southeast slopes of the Ahmar mountains. The coffee trees in Ethiopia still grow in their wild, natural state in the area’s forest regions. Both coffee farmers and tribes-people are involved in harvesting the ripe coffee cherries.
The Harar is a naturally processed coffee which means the coffee cherries are allowed to dry on the coffee seed. The natural method permits the fruit to be in contact with the bean for an extended period of time – allowing all the sugars and starches to be absorbed by the bean – creating a full bodied coffee with awesome fruit and berry-like flavors. After the drying process the cherry is hulled off the coffee seed. The danger of the natural method is that the cherry can ferment on the seed causing flavors of rotten fruit or mold. Batdorf and Bronson is very particular about choosing their naturally processed coffees. Scott Merle and his roasting team at Batdorf end up cupping at least twice the usual amount of available coffee to find the best lot. As a result, Tazza D’Oro is now serving one of the best Harar’s available.
On our cupping table, Josh provided bowls of luscious fresh strawberries and blueberries. During the wet aroma and actual tasting it was amazing to experience the flavors of the coffee rivaling and complimenting those of the fresh berries. Word of this impressive taste traveled fast and by Friday morning we had sold all the Harar. Not to worry though, thanks to B&B we will have more delivered on Thursday by 11 am. Josh, great job.