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Harasi has dried apricot, peach and banana, a hint of leather. It is cleaner, sweeter and brighter than some may expect from Yemeni coffee, especially in the light roasts. Darker roast levels are pungent and bittersweet.
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 Harasi, as we did when traveling to Yemen in November. We visited an amazing zone within Harasi 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. 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 taste like goat hides. It doesn't, and we won't buy those ratty Yemeni coffees that come from the South. But here we have I am not saying this cup is limp, but clean, sweetly fruited, and potent. The dry fragrance has sorghum syrup and banana scent in the light roasts, turning to molasses and aromatic wood notes (sandalwood scent) at FC+. Darker roasts are less sweet and more pungent in aroma, "noir" in character, less delicate. There's anise notes, cinnamon stick, and some dried apple. The light roast cups a bit milder at first than one might anticipate from Yemeni coffees, but intensifies greatly as it cools. The body is opaque, there's a bit of butterscotch, and a dusting of cocoa. As it cools, more dried fruit notes emerge, like the real health-food store (unsulphered) dried apricot and peaches, with a hint of leather and rustic woody notes. I get slight hints of camphor/menthol. Darker roasts are less complex; intense and pungent roasty overtakes 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, had incredible SO espresso potential. Note that Yemeni coffees need rest after roasting. They have more aromatics at 12 hours or 24 hours, but really develop at 72+ hours of rest after roasting. This is even more true for espresso uses.