2013 Crop from Harrar. "Queen City" is a brand that RoyalNY came up with, and it is one of the purest, cleanest, nicest Harrars anywhere on the market. It is exclusively grown in the East Harrar region, which has the sweeter flavor and the stronger blueberry undertones -- whereas most Harrars are a blend of East and West offerings.
Harrar is going to be really scarce and really expensive this year. Most of it is going to Saudi Arabia, which is buying it for over $4 a lb. To outbid that, and then ship it all the way to US, and still make a little money on it, is a tough venture. Many importers aren't even trying and have told me they are only importing other Ethiopia regions this year. Others have a Harrar that has no blueberry taste and tastes suspiciuously like a Yirgacheffe.
At any rate, this one is a sweet and clean tasting coffee with blueberry and mild chocolate flavor. I had reserved a second lot of this with a lot of potential, but the actual shipment came in tasting flat and disappointing, so I had to reject it, because at these prices, you really want it to be amazing. So this might be it for Harrar until next spring.
Give it lots of heat at the beginning, slow it down at the first cracks, draw it out to the 390's. Whether you let it just into the 2nd cracks or keep it out altogether is up to you -- both ways make for a nice fruity mug of coffee.
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