bthomasb Senior Member Joined: 29 Aug 2012 Posts: 3 Location: Boston Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012, 11:12am Subject: Roasted Harrar availability
Does anyone know why there appears to be very little (roasted) Harrar available for sale right now?
I have been looking all over the internets and can find practically nothing. None of my usual favorite roasters (Paradise, Metropolis, Red Bird, Barrington, Counter Culture... ) are offering it. But Yirgacheffe and Sidama are all over the place.
I know Harrar harvests and processing can have delays - in some instances until the fall. But I would suppose some stock from prior years would still be around.
When I can occasionally find something it's usually out of stock or from an obscure corner of somewhere and suspiciously cheap (and only one or two instances of this).
Sorry if this is well known for some reason or it belongs in a different forum.
I did a quick search of a few roasters I know and found this one. I have not personally ordered coffee from Kifu or Jeremy (the owner) but I know the guys on HB gave him a thumbs up. He is also an active member of the online coffee community I know he is a member of HB, GCBC but I 'm not sure if he hangs around here.
That makes some sense. Maybe it was a bad harvest year. I know that over the last few years that was keeping a lot of the American buyers away from a lot of Kenyas they normally buy up.
One local roaster told me that they don't find natural dried coffees to last as well as washed, even while green. That their optimal life window was fairly short by comparison and he considered his offering only good now whereas it had been great a few months back.
Thanks for the tips, Chris and Robert. I'll definitely look at those roasters. I definitely didn't know either of them.
I'm still a little puzzled why finding roasted Harrar takes so much digging - and then only a few roasters turn up. Obviously Yirgacheffe and Sidama are everywhere.
I did hear and surmise half rumors about how a lot of people used to get their Harrar from the Ethiopian export coffee seller MAO Horse. But then the owner died and the industry was reorganized there to be a little more similar to Kenyas when it comes to the organization of selling - not always to good effect.
I have to concur here. For us semi-oldtimers, IMO there hasn't been a really exceptional harar for several years, since the incredible "LOT 30", nicknamed the "blueberry bomb" sold by Sweet Marias (as green coffee.) In some part this is due to unfortunate weather patterns, and instability in the Ethiopian coffee market, which is somewhat controlled by the government.
I've ordered a Harrar every year, and not once has it come close the the terrific Sidamas and Yergs available. Perhaps next year, there will be more Idido Misty Valley, the DP Korate, or this year's funky sweet Konga.
Edit: I should also mention that the passing of Mohammed Ogsadey (sp), a very popular and trusted exporter also hindered the trade. If you see a coffee called "MAO" it would be connected to him, or now a son.
Actually it's been quite a good year for Harars, but unfortunately a bad year (or two) for Yemens. Most of the best DP Ethiopians are ending up in Saudi Arabia, where they have both proximity and purchasing power.
Bridgehead sells very consistent Harrar at a good price. When you crack open the bag you can smell blueberry! If your worried about availability have you considered buying a home roaster and grabbing some green harrar? The Greenbeanery in Toronto sells Harrar, Yerg and I think Sidamo wholesale.
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