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Roasting Journal

A predominantly disorganized (data-collection practices improving, but not perfect) data-dump and question-pondering for Yemen Mokha Matari, batch #2 & Yemen Mokha Harasi, batch #1, with some tasting notes thrown in for good measure

Temp & Time – Matari #2

Start Temp First Crack Temp End Temp First Crack Time End Time
75º 395º 425º 4:20 6:40

Cavaet roaster1.

Weight – Matari #2

Start Weight End Weight
100g 83g

Color variance

Roasted, there is a stark difference between the level of color variance, from bean to bean, of the Matari and the Harasi. The Harasi? Dramatic. The Matari? Only slightly more variance in color from bean to bean compared with anything else I’ve put through the popper.

Not sure why. Initially, I thought maybe there was a larger disparity in size and shape with the Harasi but glancing at the beans in each bag, it’s difficult to say. Both bags display an incredibly wide variety, with beans of all shapes, sizes and structures. 

Total roast time

Where the Harasi‘s trademark is dramatic color variance, the Matari‘s is length of roasting time. 6:41 for batch #2. About a full minute longer than any other coffee I’ve put through the popper. I roasted a bit lighter for this batch. Batch #1 was darker and took the longest of any bean so far — 7:39. 

Why? Bean density? Mmmm…again, not too sure. Imperfect as it is, I took a volume measurement of both — both 1/2 cup and 1 cup — and weighed them. One or two grams difference. Gonna go ahead and say that would be in the accepted margin of error.

I’m at a loss from a quantitative standpoint. Qualitatively, they’re both delicious.

Matari #2 — Taste Notes

Dark chocolate, little to no acidity, subdued, light fruit — dried raspberry — peeking through. Very dry finish.

Harasi #1 — Taste Notes

Intense dry dark chocolate, subdued acidity, big fruit — dried currants, dried raspberry — with a dry finish.

  1.  These temperature measurements are are taken from a used West Bend Poppery II air popcorn popper, with a hole drilled into the top for an off-the-shelf stem-thermometer to go through. So, you know, keep that in mind.  


Roasting Journal

Yemen Mokha Harasi, batch 1.0

This was the most uneven roast I’ve ever gotten out of the popper. I am unsure why. Maybe it’s the qualities of the coffee itself. Maybe it was ambient temperature — it was 97° outside at the time — and the roast was too fast. But that wouldn’t be a cause for unevenness.

Maybe it’s because it’s an air popcorn popper. Every batch of every coffee I’ve put through it has had some level of color variance, but I’ve roasted five different coffees already and this coffee shows the most extreme variance in roast levels from bean to bean, on the same roast batch, of any of the others. I mean I’ve got beans the color of a SoCal surfers sun-bleached locks mixed in with roasty-toast little nuggets the color of a s’mores marshmallow tragedy (some people like ‘em that way but not me). So…hmmm. 

The thing is, from what I know about natural process African coffees — and if I ‘m remembering correctly, especially coffees from Yemen — the processing is especially primitive. The processes in place are the product of historical necessity. The water supply to process coffee with the wet-processing methods of Latin America just is not there. It never has been. So while I’ve always heard that dry-process coffees from Yemen can be “interesting”, I’ve not heard them talked about for their uniformity or excellent grading. 

So maybe what I’m getting is a double-whammy of uneven density and size due to less-than-sophisticated processing methods endemic to the producers of Yemen.

And I’m roasting in a popcorn popper  

We’ll see how it tastes.