2009 harrar

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2009 harrar

Postby ahgee2 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:33 pm

I have been following with interest the saga of the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange, Sweetmarias say that "2009 might be the Year of No Harrar", and now I see that Steve has stopped listing Harrar at Hasbean. So I have a simple question for those of you in the know: are we going to be able to enjoy any 2009 Harrar here in the UK? If not, can anyone suggest a substitute bean, easily available to the home-roaster in small quantities, with similar characteristics as espresso?

Thanks,

Andrew
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RE: 2009 harrar

Postby espressomattic » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:03 am

Word down here is that you can pretty much forget Ethiopians for a while.
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Postby ubo » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:45 pm

Very thin on the ground; have cupped several lots to buy from Illili Daratu which is an old source; tended to dirty ferment, just plain bland or peppered with inconsistency. Last lot this week showed promise a bit beyond first crack but notch it back lighter and hard cups predominated. Japan has started to show interest again and old trade routes to the Middle East reinvigorated with chat trade are now channelling coffee from Harar again. Nice part of the world though.
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Postby ahgee2 » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:38 pm

Thanks for the replies and great pictures from Ethiopia. So what about some suggestions of Harrar substitutes, for the newbie who hasn't tasted that many coffees but really fell for Harrar? The closest I've come across (in my very limited experience) was Yemeni Mocha, though compared with the Harrar there seemed to be wood/leather notes (might have been my clumsy roasting) that the wife didn't care for - though I quite liked it. Any other suggestions?

Andrew
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Postby espressomattic » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:00 am

Nothing quite like it really. I have recently had some Ugandan coffee, which was good. If you like the fruityness of the Harrar, you might want to look at some of the El Salvadors and Guatemalans on offer.
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Postby ivdp » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:05 pm

Substitutes for Harrar (still sellers for Harrar G4 on the market though . . ) could be some Wild Forest Ethiopians and of course Yemen coffees.
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Postby motoman » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:54 pm

Bella Barista are listing Harrar Longberry on their site today. It is also in their discount coffee club bulk buy.
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Postby ahgee2 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:12 pm

Thanks for the helpful pointers. I'd noted some Harar still available (eg. James Gourmet) but was wondering which crop this is likely to be - my guess is 2008? As a home roaster I get through greens so slowly that they tend to sit around for a year or so, which means I really need to be buying current crop. Alternatively, if 2009 Ethiopians are going to be hard to come by, perhaps I should stock up on 2008s while they're still around. How long do you think I could reasonably keep these while expecting decent results in the cup? Any advice from those more experienced than me would be very welcome!

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Postby kingseven » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:58 pm

There is plenty of coffee coming out of Ethiopia, the main problem is that few fancy the mammoth task of wading through the samples trying to find a gem.

I think now is a good time to explore other coffees using what you like about Ethiopian coffees as a baseline. There are amazing, fruit bomb cups from coffees grown around the world and as more producers get better at controlling the natural process then it will blur the expectations of origin even further.

The depressing thing about the typical wildy, blueberry harrar is that an identical cup profile produced in central america would likely be considered a defect - whereas the harrar may command a premium price.
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Postby ahgee2 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:51 pm

There are amazing, fruit bomb cups from coffees grown around the world and as more producers get better at controlling the natural process then it will blur the expectations of origin even further.

That's exactly the sort of thing I love to hear, but unless I'm no good at using Google these coffees don't seem to be that readily avaialble to the likes of me looking for a kilo or two of greens. Maybe I just have strange tastes, but I've been totally blown away by what I've managed to achieve roasting and brewing naturals, less so with fully washed. The naturals surprise and delight me with every sip, the washed seem more bland and generic. So where do I find these exciting, non-Ethiopian/Yemeni dry processed beans? Please do tell!

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