Where are we at with Harrar?

A Question from the Home Roast List

Anyone know when the Ethiopian Harrar is obtainable (in season)? I am 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 is 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‚Äôt 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