A coffee that balances sweet and bittersweet notes, and features blackberry fruit, Baker's chocolate bittersweet flavor, and with a spiced accent. Exceeded our expectations at both light and darker roast levels. City to Full City+.
Tarime is a the capital town of a unique coffee growing area in Tanzania's North Mara district. What makes it unique is the distance of Mara from the other well-known coffee areas around Mount Kilimanjaro and Arusha, as well as the Southern areas of Mbinga and Mbeya. Tarime is between the Maasai Mara National Reserve and Lake Victoria. I knew that the area of Lake Victoria had coffee, but of the robusta species, and from the other side of Victoria near Bukoba. Tarime has a handicap because it is over 1200 km by road to the port at Dar Es Salaam, making for high transport costs over hot, dusty roads. But more remarkable than location is how clean and fresh this coffee tastes: With all the logistics challenges to ship coffee from Dar in general, and Tarime in particular, this is a brilliant arrival!
The peaberry outturn from Tarime has fruit-forward cup character, as is the dry fragrance that leads off. City roasts show fruited tea-like smells in the ground coffee, whereas at Full City, there's a shift toward berry-infused dark cocoa. Adding hot water brings up smells of fruit punch and vanilla bean, an odd sounding combination that actually works quite well together! The cup has a vibrance at City to City+ roast levels, showing a mix of citrus juice and green grape as the coffee cools. An underlying cacao nib note provides a countering aspect to fruited flavors and unrefined sugar sweetness. The weight of this peaberry coffee is impressive too, like fruit juice on the palette, lending to a long lasting aftertaste. Versatile in the roaster, I prefer the middle roast levels for a "daily drinking" type, and Full City will make a superb espresso option too.