So many good things to say about this Kenya. Starts with a very fragrant fruity nose. The cup is a super-typical combination of heavy black currants, a touch of meaty dried stone fruit like apricot and peach carried with through the mouth on unmistakable grapefruit acidity. The base notes are chocolate, cocoa powder and baking spices. The mouthfeel is smooth and bright and finishes with spicy-fruity notes. What makes this Kenya stand apart from so many East Africans is the superb balance of acidity to body to earth tones making it very easy to drink. Not only a sophisticated stunner but also a crowd pleaser.
Archive for the ‘coffee club’ Category
This slightly darker roasted Indonesian has pleasant fruity-cherry notes on the nose that are quickly covered by leathery, tabacco aromas. The fruit in the cup, somewhat tropical in feeling, is only barely noticed against a dark chocolate-cocoa and pungent spice background and is reminiscent of a small beam of sunlight peeking through an overcast sky. The mouthfeel is smooth and dry and balanced. The peppery-caramel-chocolate finish lingers. An interesting bold flavored coffee.
Costa Rica, Red Honey, Roasted in Parchment
Change your expectations before you taste this extraordinary coffee – it doesn’t really taste like coffee. The aromas are of incredibly sweet tropical fruit, soft floral notes and powdery perfumes. It smells a like a tropical vacation. The flavors are close to the fragrance: tropical fruit being the dominant taste. Think creamy, low acidy fruits like guava and papaya. This coffee has an extremely long finish without the high brightness one normally gets from a Central American. There is conflict on the finish between super sweet and bitter. This cup shines without milk in this coffee, maybe a little sugar though.
From the Importer:
“This is about as wacky as it gets; roasting coffee in it’s parchment shell, grinding it up, parchment and all, and brewing it. “Roasted In Parchment,” is a partially processed bean. After the coffee is processed at the wet mill or the pulping station, it is dried in the sun. At this stage the coffee has it’s outer parchment shell on it; it is called pergamino in Central America. After it is sun-dried down to 12% moisture content, the parchment coffee is rested in silos or bags for anywhere from 30-60 days. This allows the coffee to stabilize. In it’s parchment shell, the dried green coffee can be stored for much longer, and is more protected from temperature and humidity changes that damage cup quality. This coffee is from Juan Ramon at Brumas del Zurqui Micro Mill. This isn’t wet-processed parchment coffee, it is Red Honey Parchment from pulped natural process. That means the fruit of the coffee cherry was left to dry on the parchment. Rather than the pale cream color of wet-processed parchment, this has a red tint to it.”
Peregrinations: Monthly Coffee Club
February 2010 selection
Costa Rica, Lourdes de Naranjo, Herbazu Farm
This surprising single estate coffee from Costa Rica behaves quite a bit like a top Kenyan! The cup starts with distinct citrus and mixed fruit aromas with a clear sweetness. The brightness in the cup is definitely lemon blended with berries following with deeper caramel-sweetness notes – very Kenya! A great example of a bright, complex Costa Rican.
From the Importer:
“Cafetalera Herbazu is a well-known farm in the West Valley region, the Lourdes de Naranjo area to be exact. It is on of the early pioneers in independent, small mill coffee farms, the work of the Barrantes family. They grow a type of Villa Sarchi cultivar that they have used for so long, it has become their own mutation in a way. It’s quite a short plant (Villa Sarchi is a dwarf mutation of Bourbon, as is Caturra). The mill and drying patios are right in the center of the farm, which ranges from 1550 to 1700 meters. They don’t employ much shade on the farm, and their particular type of Villa Sarchi seems adapted to this exposure. This offering is a wet-process style estate grade, which is a forced demucilage process (as opposed to traditional fermentation wet-process).”
Nakhaki Estate Lot “C”
Nelson Olori, Farmer
Here is another fine micro-lot coffee from Bolivia. The complexity of this coffee starts with the first whiff from the cup. There are florals, chocolate and nut with meaty-earthy notes along with a typical coffee aroma. A touch of black cherry and caramel is also present. The flavors reflect Autumn: maple and brown sugar, caramel and fruit. A pinch of lemony citrus comes through too. The mouthfeel is thick, rich and balanced. There are hints of nuts and caramel on finish. This coffee is predominantly deep and dark with occasional bright notes.
The distinctive Nakhaki coffees come from the Uchumachi, Colonia Kantutani, Caranavi Province in the Yungas of La Paz, Bolivia. They are expertly tendered and carefully processed by this small group of organic farmers that protect their environment with shade trees and ecological processing. Their micro-lot coffees include Typica and Red Caturra varieties.
Importer comments: Citric acidity (meyer lemon), sweet, syrupy, balanced body with hints of dark chocolate, sugar cane and red wine. Its silky texture carries forward reminders of vanilla, floral essence and green apple.