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Aroma: 8 Acidity: 9 Body: 8 Flavor: 9 Aftertaste: 8 Roast: Dark
Origin Detail: Harrar growing region, eastern Ethiopia.
Notes: Harrar is the most celebrated of many Ethiopia coffees processed by the dry method, meaning the beans or seeds are sun-dried inside the coffee fruit. The dried fruit husks are removed later by machine. This Harrar displays both the strengths (deep, sweet flavor, fruit tones, full body) and weaknesses (slight off-taste owing to fruit fermenting during drying) of many dry-processed coffees.
Blind assessment: Tremendous but balanced range and dimension. The acidity is full, deep, sweet, enveloped in the unifying matrix of the cup. Circumspect hints of fruit and flowers emerge in finish and aftertaste. As the coffee cools the slightest hint of ferment reveals itself behind the rich aromatics of the cup.
Who should drink it: Lovers of the wild, deep, archetypal dry-processed coffees of Yemen and the Horn of Africa.
Sweet Maria's Coffee -Columbus, Ohio
Aroma: 7 Acidity: 8 Body: 7 Flavor: 9 Aftertaste: 7 Roast: Dark
Origin: Blended -- Various
Origin Detail: Three origins, including Indonesia (Sumatra Mandheling), Yemen (Raimi), and Ethiopia (Sidamo).
Notes: An interesting and provocative variation on the world's oldest blend, Mocha-Java. Here the "Java" component is a traditionally processed Sumatra and the "Mocha" a combination of authentic Yemen Mocha and a dry-processed Ethiopia. Sweet Maria's main business is operating a popular website catering to home roasters, but owner Tom Owen roasts for local customers three days a week.
Blind assessment: Pungent Sumatra tones wrap around the Ethiopian flowers and Yemen fruit. The deep, aromatic wood tones modulate to a fruity, cherryish chocolate in the finish. The pungency turned slightly flat as the cup cools, slightly shadowing an intriguing and dramatic cup.
Who should drink it: People who watch the X-Games on television; skydivers; people with studs in their tongues; admirers of Baudelaire.