Savannah, Georgia is home to Perc Coffee, one of my favorite roasters. I’ve tried a lot of their coffee (scroll down to “Georgia”) and I’ve loved it all. They recently sent some of their current offerings for me to try out and share with you dear readers, so without further delay, let’s look at their Tarime AB from Tanzania! You can buy this coffee directly from Perc for $15 and you can get free shipping through April using the code, “PERCFREESHIP” when you checkout! Doesn’t get better than that. Pick up a bag of the Campo Bello while you’re there, and thank me later. 😉
Curious about how many coffees from Tanzania I’ve reviewed here (I knew it wasn’t many), I used my website’s search feature and only found two. One was a long time ago from Solid and the other, a bit more recently, was Steadfast’s Tarime AB, reviewed last October. I have no idea if these could be the same coffee or not, but suffice to say that I have pretty limited experience with Tanzanian coffee. Coming from Perc, I expect it to be good, and my bud, Brian Beyke, was raving about this coffee on I Brew My Own Coffee recently, too (Ep. 38, I believe).
Tanzania is in eastern Africa, lying south of Kenya, whose coffee it is probably closest to in character. Uganda makes up the rest of Tanzania’s northern border and Rwanda and Burundi are crammed into its northwest corner. Generally, Tanzanian coffee features lots of acidity and is clean. Tarime is located in the northwest of Serengeti National Park and south of the border with Kenya and it’s considered one of the optimal growing regions for coffee in Tanzania. Like in Kenya, Tanzanian producers sort and “grade” their coffee by size, using the AA, AB, etc system. So, “AB” is simply a size designation, but big beans aren’t necessarily better beans, so don’t misunderstand that AA coffees are better than AB.
This particular coffee comes from the Mara district and it’s a washed process coffee that grows in the 1950-2050masl range. Perc offers tasting notes of, “watermelon, jasmine, graham” and their website has some additional brewing and espresso extraction parameters for you. The fragrance on the dry grinds is so good on this coffee! It has a graham cracker sweetness with a bit of savory in the mix and it’s one of those coffees I delayed brewing just so I could keep my nose crammed in the grinds to get all that awesomeness! For brewing, I used a 1:16 ratio (28g coffee, 450g water) in my notNeutral Gino with Kalita 185 filters and aimed for around a 3:30 brew time. I will try this as espresso, too, but I’m thinking it’s going to be a bit bright for my palate. One never knows, though!
This is a super complex cup and offers a lot of unique flavors. At warmer temperatures, I did pick up hints of watermelon, which is always fun. As the cup cooled and opened up there is a grapefruity, citrus acidity that is more of a pink grapefruit…. sweeter and softer. It’s bright but not aggressively so. At cooler temps the acidity took on a bit of a lime character, too. Underneath this acidity that graham cracker from the fragrance comes through to give a nice bass note of sweetness. The mouthfeel on this coffee is full and like the Steadfast Tarime AB I had a few months ago, has a milk-like feel to it. This is a juicy coffee, meaning that it creates some salivation and sort of digs into my cheeks. That is often the result of tartaric acid, common in wine and found in coffee pretty frequently, too. There are some floral, almost herbal notes if I really churn the coffee up using some retronasal tasting (short, outgoing breaths through my nose and where most flavor is perceived in humans, which I may qualify as… jury’s still out). The finish is pretty neutral, leaning toward sweet, but has a nice bitterness to it, too.
This is a complex cup, but easily drinkable at the same time, and those two attributes don’t usually occur together. It has nice balance and cleanliness with a lot of structure to the flavors. This is an excellent cup of coffee, not unlike a good Kenyan cup, but with a bit more balance and slightly less aggro acidity. It’s bright, but balanced, and it’s really refreshing and delicious. Perc scores again!