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Yemen Mokha Harasi
DSchell
I recently read the book The Monk of Mokha, and became interested in trying some Yemeni coffee. I've been home roasting for more than 10 years, and enjoy exploring new (to me) origins.

I bought the subject beans from Sweet Maria's, who describe it like this:
"Creamy Brazil nut, dusty cocoa, dried strawberry, cooked rhubarb, rustic date sugar, dried tamarind, black licorice, aromatic cedar wood. Wild espresso".

Neither my wife nor I liked the taste of this coffee. She described the objectionable element as "sour milk" and I can go along with that.

So can anyone help me avoid buying coffee that tastes like this, by telling me which of the words in SM's description to associate with this taste? If it helps, the other coffee origin I now avoid is Ethiopian.

Dave S.
 
baldheadracing
"Sour milk" to me means a stinker bean in that particular cup of coffee. Yemen's are typically primitive dry process and may well benefit from a bit - not a lot - of sorting both before and after the roast.

However, if you're avoiding Ethiopians as well, then perhaps the "sour milk" goes with the "rustic" descriptor. People who don't like "rustic" avoid natural-processed coffee and stick with washed coffees.

Here's Thompson's explanation:
 
snwcmpr
On the book.
Do a little research and you find he is not what he appears to be. Search lawsuit and Monk of Mokha.

Did you roast it?

I like Yemeni and Ethiopian coffee.
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
 
DSchell
Yes, I roasted it, like all the coffee I buy, in my HotTop. I stopped it just before second crack.

The Monk of Mokha was still a good story.
How many business people are free of blemish?

There doesn't seem to be any settlement of this suit so far, so the claims are only claims.

Dave S.
 
snwcmpr
I walked away from the book like a fairy tale was told to me. I do not believe much of what I read.
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
 
Tavake12
A little late, but yes, I love Yemen Mokha Harasi from Sweet Marias, and I actually got a cup that tasted like mold.

I roast this coffee just to the very end of First Crack, and I usually just take a small handful of beans and throw them in the grinder and then make espresso/Americano.

So, I looked at the green beans remaining, and sure enough, there are definitely a couple of moldy ones. Also some broken beans, like 1/4 of a bean, and some outsized larger beans. In fact, the Yemeni bag has quite a bit of variation in it.

I looked at the roasted beans and picked out any that were overly funny looking, and then made an indescribably delicious cup of Americano.

For my next roast, I actually screened the beans. i just happened to have a stainless steel rack for an air fryer that has exactly the right size grid to allow the broken and weirdly small beans to fall through. I used that to produce beans of a more uniform size, and then picked out any that were discolored. Less than 1/10th of the volume was screened out, but the roast turned out very nice, and I think was worth the trouble. Every cup from that roast was good, no post-roast sorting necessary.

I find that taking Scott Rao's advice and starting with a higher charge temperature seems to get rid of some of the overly green flavors in a City roast of this coffee. I don't like going far beyond first crack with this coffee because it seems like you lose a lot of the varietal flavors, but it is intolerable if the inner bean is insufficiently roasted.

I am going to experiment more with sorting the beans on size. I'll probably make up some experimental acrylic plates with holes drilled.

Cheers!
 
JackH
It is worth examining the beans for defects. It does take time to do it but it only takes a few beans to taint the coffee flavor.
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
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