Banana taste in Yemens

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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bean2friends

#1: Post by bean2friends »

I've been interested when a coffee is said to have banana in its flavor profile. I buy a lot of coffee from Sweet Marias and as anybody who does will attest,, Thom finds a wide range of tastes in the coffee he sells. Some of his tastes are hard to dispute since they are of things I've never even heard of. He reminds me of that saying that if you live long enough you'll have a perfect memory, as no one will be around to challenge your memory. My 102 year old mother is there now.
But that's all beside the point. I do know what bananas taste and smell like. So far though I've never tasted banana in a coffee. Until now. I bought Yemen Al Qafr Hawari from Sweet Marias a month or so ago and recently roasted it. This morning I made an Americano of it and I could smell the banana a little bit as I ground it and could taste it even better as I drank it. It's a delicious coffee.
Interestingly, banana was not mentioned in the taste profile. It's out of stock now, but described this way:" Follows a rustic sweet blueprint, with notes of pistachio cookie, malted chocolate, ginger powder, sesame candies, corn syrup, and tobacco leaf."

Their Yemen Mokha Matari, however, is described this way: "balanced chocolate flavors, fruited sweetness, chai spice, dried apricot, banana, berry, baked apple, sandalwood, aromatic pipe tobacco.."
That sounds worth trying given how much I enjoyed my Hawari this morning.

I continue to be amazed that we can get such good coffee out of that war torn country.

jbviau
Supporter ★

#2: Post by jbviau »

That's wild. Can't say I've ever picked up on a banana note in coffee.

As an aside, my wife and I used to drink a lot of Belgian beer, including Duvel. At some point a Chicago bartender mentioned that he found that beer very banana-forward, and ever since I haven't been able to un-taste the banana...to the point that I no longer buy it. Love bananas, don't love banana flavor (same with mango).
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

Scott-ishBrewer

#3: Post by Scott-ishBrewer »

In my local market, the best selling specialty coffee of all times is the so called "pink banana" or other smaller roasteries would call them "Halu Banana". I believe it is red honey processed. However, despite it's name, a LOT of them tend to just be hints of banana. They are pretty good but can be pretty disappointing of how they market themselves compared to the product.

Halu refers to the origin of the place Mt. Halu of Indonesian West Java.

On side note, there are also cotton candy coffees or also known as the "Sunda Gulali". However, they refer cotton candy to the aroma rather than the tasting notes themselves. Its interesting

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bean2friends (original poster)

#4: Post by bean2friends (original poster) »

It's interesting to me that I might pick up one thing in the aroma when grinding and something else in taste. And even in taste maybe something at first taste that fades and again something different later as the coffee cools in the cup.
In the case of this banana taste, it's only a hint, like most of the flavors or aromas I get in coffee. If it were overwhelmingly banana, I wouldn't like it.
I think that's true of most of the tastes in coffee. The one many folks seem to seek is blueberry in Ethiopian dry process coffees..I've had it so dominant that I don't like it. I'd rather drink a tea.
For me, some other tastes, even when not dominant are off putting. Tomato and green pepper for example seem more appropriate to pizza. I'd just as soon not have them in my coffee.
another_Jim captured what I most look for in coffee with his post in the greens alert thread on June 6. Giving a shout out to Roastmasters for their Guatemala El Socoro y Anexos Java, he says "when you dream of coffee, this is what it tastes like, heavy bodied, cola and chocolate notes, and a hint of Slivovits in the finish."
That sounds might good to me, even if it doesn't have banana.

Scott-ishBrewer

#5: Post by Scott-ishBrewer »

bean2friends wrote:For me, some other tastes, even when not dominant are off putting. Tomato and green pepper for example seem more appropriate to pizza. I'd just as soon not have them in my coffee.
another_Jim captured what I most look for in coffee with his post in the greens alert thread on June 6. Giving a shout out to Roastmasters for their Guatemala El Socoro y Anexos Java, he says "when you dream of coffee, this is what it tastes like, heavy bodied, cola and chocolate notes, and a hint of Slivovits in the finish."
That sounds might good to me, even if it doesn't have banana.
Yes, that sounds delicious as well. And you definitely dont want ONLY banana notes either.

However, I as a customer would expect a more intense flavor notes of banana when they market themselves as banana-like coffee. It wouldve been nicer if its a bit more intense banana to be part of the balanced notes instead of simply hints of it.

Its very slight hint to the point it feels misleading btw.

cskorton

#6: Post by cskorton »

Interesting! I'll have to give one of those coffees a try.

The only experience I have with banana like flavor is a local roaster producing Italian style blends:

https://grancaffelaquila.com/collections/coffee

Can't say I'm a huge fan of it - I liken the banana taste to an overripe banana peel, so I'd be interested to see if the banana taste is different than the coffees you're trying.

I think the roaster changed robusta suppliers recently, and my theory is that ripe banana taste is coming from the robusta...but maybe not.

RobertL

#7: Post by RobertL »

Until recently I've only seen banana in Yemen cupping notes. Happy Mug and Captain's Coffee are both offering an Ecuadorian that list banana in the cupping notes. I believe this coffee was imported by Royal who also list Banana in their cupping notes. I ordered a few pounds from Happy Mug but I haven't roasted it yet.

https://thecaptainscoffee.com/collectio ... 1730200665

https://happymugcoffee.com/products/ecu ... ncha-honey

https://royalcoffee.com/product/3427097000010940363/

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Jeff
Team HB

#8: Post by Jeff »

Banana is something that reminds me of my beer-brewing days. Isoamyl acetate is a fermentation product of some yeasts and potentially could be related in coffee.

https://8degreesplato.com/2018/02/10/wh ... e-bananas/

macal425

#9: Post by macal425 »

My partner recently got me a monthly subscription from Atlas Coffee. Although I was skeptical that they would be any good, I thought it was a thoughtful gift that would get me out of my comfort zone of Dark/Comfort roasts. I have been pleasantly surprised with how good they have all been. Anyway, the second bag that I got was a Bolivian La Paz. The cupping notes from the roaster were Dulce de Leche, Custard and Banana. I don't have a great palate and have a hard time distinguishing individual flavors, however, I got a very strong 'banana custard' flavor and it was delicious. I'm not a fan of fruity coffees, but I could definitely do with more banana flavor in my life.