Kenyan Coffee

February 18, 2010

/files/u707/iStock_000006960135XSmall.jpg" width="311" height="200" align="left" border="0" vspace="10" hspace="10" />I am ecstatic right now as I type this.  The reason is that I just cheated.  Not sure why, but I just typed into Google, “How does Kenyan coffee taste?”  You see, I had picked up 100 grams of single-origin Kenyan coffee this week and cupped it yesterday.  I loved the stuff !   In fact, of the five coffees I’ve reviewed for biscotti, I enjoyed it more than all of the others, except maybe for the single-origin Colombian I tried the first week.  Actually, this Kenyan was so good, I may have even liked it more than that.

Anyway, I just typed in that search query and landed on a page that verified my own cupping experience yesterday.  Yippee !!!  I know there really isn't a "right answer" to describe how something tastes.  I mean, everyone has different taste buds, and so it’s possible that things taste a little different for all of us.  But, who am I kidding  - of course, Kenyan beans have a definite taste profile, and I’m totally stoked that I was able to correctly evaluate this particular Kenyan coffee taste profile.  Is it so wrong to feel proud of the fact that I’m developing a more sophisticated palate?

Cut to the chase, biscotti – besides “awesome,” how did it taste?  Well, it was very acidic, meaning it had a lot going on; it was “bright,” or packed with flavor.  (Remember, we discussed last week how ‘acidic’ isn’t a bad thing at all when you’re talking about coffee; it means a coffee’s flavor is “lively.”)  And despite my taking it with no cream or sugar, the Kenyan coffee was deliciously sweet.  Not fruity, not really caramelly – but definitely, definitely sweet.

I took another small sip and let it sit on my tongue before swallowing.  I was testing its body; did it feel dense and heavy or almost watery and feather-light?  The right! answer is: medium; the Kenyan coffee had some weight, but was far from sludge.  I guess you could also call it “Goldilocks.”

There was absolutely no bitterness at all.  Besides the dominant sweet note, there was a strong secondary characteristic – buttery.  That’s actually not listed on the site I just checked, but I’m sticking with it.  I also wrote down the coffee terms “clean,” “fine” and “lively.”  Clean is a very pleasing characteristic to have, in my opinion.  As much as I love drinking coffee, I do not like it when it gives me dry mouth.  On top of its incredibly pleasant taste, the Kenyan coffee was actually quite – refreshing!  Meaning, it didn’t dry my mouth out at all, even after multiple sips cups.

Lively we covered already.  That’s another way to say it was very acidic.  Fine works, too, because that’s a term used to describe coffee with many positive characteristics, such as acidity and body.  Finally, I wrote down “fairly complex.”  While I didn’t have to break a sweat trying to articulate the taste notes and qualities of this Kenyan coffee, it did have that sweet-yet-buttery thing going on, for me at least.  Having two strong notes to its overall flavor rendered it fairly complex.

Last thing I wanna say is that close followers of biscotti (all none of you?) will know that I actually did sample some Kenyan coffee previously – in weeks three and four.  Well, just a cotton pickin’ minute, then – can you say redundancy?  How come you didn’t count Kenyan as one you had already cupped?  The reason I didn’t count the previous Kenyan was that I am not sure it was single-origin.  It was a gift, and the roaster’s packaging said they specialize in beans from Kenya, but they also harvest beans from Ethiopia.  So, I’m not sure that was single-origin.  Also, that coffee’s name was “dark espresso roast,” and I didn’t make espresso with it; I used a French press to make regular coffee.  So, I’m not counting it so there.

Kenyan coffee was a really nice ride, people.  I recommend it.


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