This custom decaf is made from a Harar coffee we sold under the name "Gey" Harar. Harar is the ancient Western capital, a walled city that has been a source of intrigue for centuries. Misraq Hararghe (pronounced Harar-Gey) is the name of the greater Harar area that the city commanded, and it seems that"Gey" is a shortened name local Harari people use for the area. True Harar coffees are from the higher Eastern areas, but many coffees sold as Harar from the Western area. Harar coffees are dry-processed, which when done right, creates a big bodied, heavily fruited cup. We like the way dry-process Ethiopias translate as decafs too, much of what makes Ethiopian coffees so unique - fruit, acidity, and sometimes florals - transferring to the decaf versions. This batch is not a farm direct lot; it was sourced through the Ethiopia Coffee Exchange and stood out because of the nice cup quality. Then we had it prepared with extra hand-picking at a mill in Addis Ababa. And finally, we sent a small amount off to Swiss Water Decaf plant in Vancouver, BC for decaffeination.
There's a rustic fruit sweetness in the dry fragrance, with a decaf-like smell in there too for sure, but eclipsed by ripe berry and resin sweetness. City+ roasts have a smell of berry syrup in the wet aroma, a sorghum syrup scent as well, a sort of molasses-like, rustic sugar and fruit combination. The cup is very fruit-forward, and flavors shift from red berry, to papaya, to stone fruit, and back. It's not unlike the non-decaf lot from which it originated, topped with an earthy accent, 'foresty' in flavor and aroma. The profile is herbaceous as it cools, fresh basil, a tarragon note, horehound, and sarsaparilla. In these ways this coffee stays true to what we think of as "Harar" cup character, and with body that only matches the level of complexity. We preferred City+ to Full City roasts of this coffee for brewing, and it's a wonderful option for espresso blend component.