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 cup shows deep sugar browning sweetness, cacao nib accents, and with herbaceous flavors that weave in and out of the profile. The dry fragrance of City+ roasts has aspects of black strap molasses, with sweet cedar chip smells too. Adding hot water, raisin and walnut dominate the aroma, with unprocessed muscovado-like sugar blooming with the wetted grounds. We found City+ to Full City to be our preferred roast range for brewing, but I imagine sweet and bittering tones to interplay well on up to 2nd crack. Our City+ roast was syrupy sweet, raw sugar and chocolate flavors coming on strong, faint fruited accents underneath, and a bittersweetness that reminded me of chocolate stout beer. Cocoa flavors build with roast degree, and Full City roasts have a flavor of 70% or more cacao bar, with rue-like herbal aroma filling out the finish. Mara District AB is a big-bodied cup, which matched with the aforementioned profile, lends to an impression of decadent chocolate syrups.