Saturday, February 17, 2007

Arabian Mocha Sanani

This coffee has been a long time favorite of Starbuck's partners and is available year round. Unfortunately, of our free pound of coffee that we get as a fringe benefit, due to costs of this coffee, we are only allotted half a pound of this one. It is very rare for Starbuck's partners to get it, but I got some this week.

It's name is deceiving. MOCHA is not added to the coffee. The mocha flavors come from a natural bean drying process that is used with this coffee from Yemen. The rich desert soil and sun dried drying process allows this coffee to evolve with an equally rich chocolaty overtone and mild berry notes.

This coffee is all about the sun drying process. Most coffee beans are placed into something similar to a clothes dryer to dry the beans. This process allows for maximum consistency in the flavor of the beans. These beans, however, are layed out in the sun in a process similar to how raisins are dried. With coffee beans, this brings out an inconsistency in flavor due to weather creating the time needed for the drying process. Because of this inconsistency, it affects the availability of the beans and thus the price of the coffee. But also due to this inconsistency, each batch comes with its own surprises. I generally conduct a tasting of this coffee quarterly due to the ever changing flavors. Although the base of the coffee itself never changes, it tends to swing on a pendulum from mocha to berry. This batch seems to be rather balanced.

As the coffee swings from flavor to flavor, one must taste it before determining it's pairing dessert. I must emphasize that this is definitely a "Dessert" coffee. The best way to pair it is to locate the most subtle flavor and enjoy a dessert that will emphasize that flavor. For example, if the coffee is very strong in chocolate flavor, you don't need to eat a chocolate cake with it, but rather choose something like a blueberry pie to bring out the more hidden notes. This balanced batch would probably pair well with chocolate covered strawberries, something to emphasize both flavors.

As I said, this coffee is available year round at your local Starbucks and online, and for a limited time at the Vulhop household. BYOBM (Bring your own blueberry muffins)


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