Ethiopia Harar Rashid
The last 20 years or so, Harar has been a dusty, faded memory; a fable, a callback, and immortalized reference point that could be perhaps never lived up to again. For a time, however, there was no other coffee quite like the dry-processed Harar. The flavor, distinctively blueberry-like, was unparalleled and instantly recognizable in the 1980s and 1990s. Harar was the jewel of the adventurous coffee drinker, an uncommon gem with a mystique that could not be described, only experienced. It was unquestionably the most memorable coffee of a recent bygone era and a gateway for specialty coffee drinkers into the first eye-opening sips of something that transcended hot, caffeinated sludge.
Rashid Abdullah is responsible for bringing this coffee to us. He is the nephew of O.G. Harar Horse supplier, Mohamed Abdullahi Ogsadey. His project has brought the tools of the modern coffee trade to an ancient region, infused with historical significance and nostalgia, and has produced the finest tasting Harar in a generation. Let's back up a little bit, though, because there is much more to this coffee then the opinions of grumpy old coffee drinkers blowing hot air on the beans of yesteryear.
Harar is a walled ciity in eastern Ethiopia, an ancient trade hub, and an important Islamic spiritual center that was at its cultural peak in the 15th and 16th centuries, connecting eastern Africa with the Arabian Peninsula. It is almost certainly the city were the first non-Africans-including Dhabhani, the sufi imam responsible for introducing coffee to Yemen- would have first tasted coffee.
Harar is too far east to be coffees original home. That distinction belongs to the Kingdom of Kaffa far to the west. Yet Harar’s important location and significance as a cultural and economic epicenter gave it to prominence in the very earliest means of coffee transit and trade infused it's coffee with historic gravitas.
Rashid has spent the better part of two decades trying to put a Harar, with all its luster of the past, back to cupping tables worldwide. Rashid personally selected the cherries and implemented a raised bed project to ensure meticulous drying protocols. This is also the first year since the creation of the Ethiopian commodity exchange that new rules permit export directly to our importers. The stars have aligned and somewhere the spirit of the Somali king is smiling.
This coffee pulls a fantastic shot and is great for milk based espresso.
HARAR RASHID | ETHIOPIA
Tasting notes: ripe fruit, dark chocolate, red wine
Harvest: October- December