Heavy-bodied, spicy and fragrant, Ethiopian Harrar coffee is a wild and exotic dry processed (natural) Arabica coffee that is grown on small farms in the Oromia region (formerly Harrar) in southern Ethiopia at elevations between 1,400 meters and 2,000 meters. The province of Harrar, is east of Addis Ababa, the country’s capitol.
Growing Altitude: 1510-2120 meters above seal levelArabica Variety: Wild Ethiopian VarietiesHarvest Period: October through FebruaryMilling Process: Natural, Sun-driedAroma: Berry, Earthy, ChocolateFlavor: Typical moka flavor, marked blueberry and blackberryBody: Heavy body
Harrars Known for Winey Acidity and Heady Aroma
Ethiopian Harrar coffee is known for its winey and fruity, floral-toned acidity—bright in the cup), even intense—and with a rich and pungent, heady aroma that is wonderfully reminiscent of blackberries.
A good Harrar is bold and edgy with a complexity and spice tones that may include cinnamon, cardamom, blueberry jam, apricots, compote, even smoke, and with a lingering finish.
Harrar Green Coffee Processing
A dry processed green coffee, a fine Harrar may taste a bit wild and even jammy in comparison to Ethiopian Yirgacheffes coffees which are typically wet processed and tend to exhibit citrus and floral notes. During the dry processing of the Harrars the tastes of the coffee’s fruit are allowed to impart to the green coffee beans as the fruit dries on the bean. After separating the fruit from the green coffee, the fruit is typically discarded as garbage or fertilizer. New processing methods have become available recently that will process the coffee cherry into Cascara (a tea) or ground into coffee flour, a substitute in baking.
Harrar’s tasting notes include a fruity taste has been likened to dry, red wine. Some Harrars exhibit tones of very rich, dark chocolate.
With a growing elevation all above 1,500 meters (5,000 ft), Ethiopian coffees qualify as Strictly High Grown (SHG), which offers a slower growth that delivers more nutrients to develop a denser bean – part of the reason Ethiopian coffees are so renown.
Ethiopian Harrars – The Powerhouse Coffees
The Harrar coffees are considered power house coffees, exhibiting a bold taste that resonates in the cup. Being sun-dried, these coffees exhibit a complex, wild fruitiness that is unmistakable, though sometimes a bit muted.
A fine Harrar coffee has a very interesting dry edge to it, and sometimes a surprisingly pleasant, slightly fermented aftertaste including intense notes of jasmine.
Ethiopian Harrar green coffee beans are imported from brokers and wholesalers around the world. Consumers are able to buy from coffee roasters
Longberry, Shortberry and Mocha Harrars – Does Size Matter?
As some of the world’s finest gourmet coffees, the Ethiopian coffees are graded and rated by bean size with the general assumption that bigger beans are higher in quality.
In general it is true that larger bean grades usually contain more of the precious essential oils that create flavor and aroma, yet there are also other factors besides bean size that may be just as important to the beans’ quality.