Intense sweet fragrance with dried apricot and chocolate brownie. Dark fruit notes, spice accents, sandalwood hints, sweet fruit, rustic chocolates. City+ to Full City+, and 3 days of rest. Makes great SO espresso.
Sharasi is a coffee from north of the capital city Sana'a, and a region I had never heard of before my travel to Yemen in 2007. But when we cupped the separated regional lots, lots normally blended to for the generic "Sana'ani" coffee, it was clear what Sharasi was contributing to the mix; clean sweet fruited flavors. What arrived here in the container of small-lots that resulted from the November '07 trip was a bit different from what we cupped there, more muted, lower in general tonality. But it kept with the same theme; rustic sweet fruited notes, and quite "clean" in flavor for a Yemeni coffee. Since then we have offered Sharasi each year, as it always cups with a unique character, and is often the highest scoring Yemeni coffee on the cupping table. This year's offering is no exception.
There's an earthy "ruddiness" in the dry aroma with lots of sorghum syrup sweetness, slight winey fruits, overripe banana and red fruit sweetness. The grounds smell of chocolate brownie mix, and like most of our Yemeni coffee's, they also transmit more than a hint of cedar and sandalwood. Baker's chocolate and caramel are prevalent in the wet aroma, culminating in the smell of freshly baked brownies. Dark fruits such as prune, fig, tamarind and dried salted plum permeate on the break. The fruit characteristics found in Sharasi's aroma transfer nicely to the cup. Out of all our Yemeni coffees, Sharasi definitely afforded us the cleanest fruit notes, denoting golden raisin, apricot butter, and peach tea. It produces a spiced profile with sarsaparilla, star anise, and ginseng root throughout. Lighter roasts have a cocoa butter sweetness to them, leaning toward the side of white chocolate. Roasting to Full City+ brought out more dark cocoa, and notes of almond and macadamia nut. Sharasi has a "weightiness" to it, producing a nice body and creamy mouthfeel. This also makes for a great Single Origin (SO) espresso, or the perfect crema-producing component to your espresso blend. On its own, Sharasi tends to be more along the lines of a "classic" espresso profile. Whether cup or SO espresso, like all Yemeni coffee, Sharasi greatly benefits from a few days rest. 48 hours is great but we found 72 hours to be best.