I don't spend all my waking hours reading cookbooks.
I do taste food, teas, coffee too.
For the second time i was lucky recipient of a batch of gourmet picks from Sea Island Coffee in the U.K.
While previous batch included coffees from Tonga to St Helena via Hawaii, this time I was treated to a trio from Jamaica, the Philippines and Yemen.
I started with RSW Peaberry from Jamaica Blue Mountain. Its crop represents only 5 percent of the area's harvest. Some credit the Peaberry beans oval shape for its more intense flavors. They come from 3 family estates, Whitfield Hall, Resource and Sherwood Forest whose farms range from 800 to 1700 meters in altitude. Their roots go as far back as late 1700's.
Aromas are deep and lasting.
Next, was my first taste of what has been getting a lot of buzz, civet coffee. The Philippine Alamid Kopi Luwak. Not sure if it was because of raised expectations or low acidity, this coffee with caramel tones registered last on my taste buds.
My favorite of the 3 has to be Haraz Mountains Mocha from Yemen. I learned from Sea Island Coffee that 'Coffea Arabica' label is a translation from Qahwa Arabiyah and that world 'Mocha' is a twist on Al-Markha port where coffee was exported to the world.
500 small family farms (around half an hectare each) harvest these beans in valleys as high as 3000 meters in rugged Haraz mountains in northwest Highlands. The volcanic soil proves to be perfect ground for Haraz Mountains Mocha which I enjoyed for its aromas, rich body and good acidity.