Heavy-bodied, spicy and fragrant, Ethiopian Harrar coffee is a wild and exotic dry processed (natural) Arabica coffee that is grown on small farms in the Oromia region (formerly Harrar) in southern Ethiopia at elevations between 1,400 meters and 2,000 meters. The province of Harrar, is east of Addis Ababa, the country's capitol.
Growing Altitude: 1510 - 2120 meters above sea level
Arabica Variety: Wild Ethiopian Varieties
Harvest Period: October through February
Milling Process: Natural, Sun-dried
Aroma: Berry, Earthy, Chocolate
Flavor: Typical moka flavor, marked blueberry and blackberry
Body: Heavy body
Ethiopian Harrar coffee is generally highly rated and known for its winey and fruity, floral-toned acidity - bright in the cup, even intense - and tasting notes describe it with a rich and pungent, heady aroma that is wonderfully reminiscent of blackberries.
A good Harrar is bold and edgy with a complexity and spice tones that may include cinnamon, cardamom, blueberry jam, apricots, compote, even smoke, and with a lingering finish.
A dry processed green coffee, a fine Harrar may taste a bit wild and even jammy in comparison to Ethiopian Yirgacheffes coffees which are typically wet processed and tend to exhibit citrus and floral notes. During the dry processing of the Harrars the tastes of the coffee's fruit are allowed to impart to the green coffee beans as the fruit dries on the bean.
After separating the fruit from the green coffee, the fruit is typically discarded as garbage or fertilizer. New processing methods have become available recently that will process the coffee cherry into Cascara (a tea) or ground into coffee flour, a substitute in baking. Harrar's tasting notes include a fruity taste has been likened to dry, red wine. Some Harrars exhibit tones of very rich, dark chocolate.
With a growing elevation all above 1,500 meters (5,000 ft), Ethiopian coffees qualify as Strictly High Grown (SHG), which offers a slower growth that delivers more nutrients to develop a denser bean - part of the reason Ethiopian coffees are so renown. Ethiopian Harrar coffees are sometimes available Organic certified.
The Harrar coffees are considered power house coffees, exhibiting a bold taste that resonates in the cup. Being sun-dried, these coffees exhibit a complex, wild fruitiness that is unmistakable, though sometimes a bit muted. This leads to some interesting flavor contributions to blends.
A fine Harrar coffee has a very interesting dry edge to it, and sometimes a surprisingly pleasant, slightly fermented aftertaste including intense notes of jasmine. The flavors and aromas of Harrar also suggest notes of blueberries and apricots—and the intense aromatics make it a popular choice for espresso blends.