Red Mocha Haraaz: Ancient Origin
LIMITED RELEASE | MEDIUM ROAST
A BIT OF A MIRACLE AND AN EXQUISITE CUP
Red Mocha Haraaz—red for its origin abutting the Red Sea, mocha for the port of Al-Mahka—the birthplace of coffee as a trade, and Haraaz for the high mountain redoubt of Jabal Haraaz, where it grows on ancient, terraced steps. Amidst the turmoil in Yemen, our friend and coffee farmer, Shabbir Ezzi, pushes on—faithfully growing, collecting, and sun-drying ripe cherries. Each cup of Red Mocha Haraaz is a sweet, spicy draught of history. A bit of a miracle and an exquisite cup—perhaps the rarest and the richest of the year.
An uncommon level of care
Produced at an uncommon level of care, Red Mocha Haraaz is from a single crop, versus mixed-age Mocha. It is from a single place—Jabal Haraaz—versus mixed-region Mocha. And while most naturally processed coffees reflect the range of cherry ripeness, this coffee is processed purely from perfect, red fruit.
Exceedingly rare, exquisitely rich
Red Mocha Haraaz begins with the ripest coffee cherries, sun-dried for a cup of warmth and complexity that simply must be tasted to be believed. This year’s medium roast selection is one of the very best we’ve seen, delivering fruit flavors ranging from bright tangerine to sugary fig and date, and a familiar dry cocoa finish.
NOTES FROM THE PEET'S ROASTERY
"To us, coffee beans are like gems. Each is unique and must be handled a particular way to really make it shine. These beans, crafted with extreme care by one of our favorite farmers in the shadow of the turmoil in Yemen, certainly deserved the most luster we could draw forth.
Indeed, raw Red Mocha Haraaz beans even look like gems, small like pearls but pale green and yellow. Many were flecked with copper, remnants from the natural process, hinting at the bright red cherries painstakingly selected for this roast. They had a fermented aroma, reminiscent of a fruit-forward wine.
Between the small size of the beans and the delicacy of their fragrance, Red Mocha Haraaz requires a light touch. The finishing temperature we use in the roaster can come in a full eight degrees lower than other medium roast coffees. In this way it’s similar to one of the components of this year’s Vine & Walnut blend, or our summer offering, Rwanda Izuba.
The first crack was exceptionally soft, almost inaudible, and we had to back down the heat to allow for reasonable development while not exceeding the low finishing temperature. During the roast, that fruity, winey aroma absolutely filled the room.
In the end, those fragrant notes matured into a bright tangerine nose with fig and date on the palate, and a rich cocoa finish. It’s an absolutely exquisite cup on its own, but we think a little sugar helps push those fig-date notes to the foreground. We’re thrilled to get our hands on this rare coffee again this year, its sublime nature and limited quantity combine to make it such a treasure."
-John Nicolini & Michael Madden, Roasters