A really nice cup at light and darker roasts. Molasses, aromatic wood notes (sandalwood scent), dried fruit notes (apricot and peaches), a hint of chai spice tea, earth and rustic woody notes. The finish has a pipe tobacco aspect and a dusting of cocoa; the body is quite viscous. City+ to Full City+ for Espresso.
Harasi is a coffee from the district adjacent to Ismaili, and in fact they merge to some degree. If you travel west on the road from the capital Sana'a, toward Hodeidah on the Red Sea, you will pass quite close to Harazi, as I did when traveling to Yemen a couple years back. I visited an amazing zone within Harazi with towering, ancient stone villages, like castles precariously perched atop steep precipice. It was incredibly dramatic. All the coffee here is grown on terraces, since little land exists that is flat, except for the lowland deserts. The coffee is hauled up remarkably steep slopes, carried in small amounts, most often by donkey. This is an interesting flavor profile for Yemen too (well, they all are...) but very clean, and I fear a bit disappointing for those who want Yemeni coffee to always taste like goat hides. It doesn't, and we won't buy those ratty Yemeni coffees that come from the South. Relative to other Yemeni coffees, this cup is clean, sweetly fruited, and potent.
The dry fragrance intense rustic sweet spice notes, allspice, clove and paprika, layered with fruit notes of banana, natural dried apricot, and mango. Darker roasts have molasses and aromatic wood notes (sandalwood scent) at FC+. The light roast cups a bit milder at first than one might anticipate from Yemeni coffees, but intensifies greatly as it cools. As it cools, more dried fruit notes emerge, like the real health-food store (unsulphered) dried apricot and peaches, with a hint of chai spice tea, earth and rustic woody notes. The finish has a pipe tobacco aspect and there is a dusting of cocoa; the body is quite viscous. The darker roasts are less sweet and more pungent in aroma, and less complex; sharply intense roasty flavors overtake the mild fruited tones. FC+ roasts are considerably less sweet. I did some test roasts specifically for single-origin (SO) espresso as soon as I realized what a balanced sweetness it had. Single-origin Yemen espresso has always finished too hidey, leathery, dusty-dirty for me. I knew right off this coffee, with it's clean cup character, Harasi had incredible SO espresso potential. Note that Yemeni coffees need rest after roasting. They have more aromatics at 24 hours rest, but really develop body and balance at 72+ hours of rest after roasting. This is even more true for espresso uses. While there are a few quakers in this coffee, it is a very low number for Yemeni coffee, or for any dry-processed coffee, really.