So an importer in New Jersey called in a dozen or so local roasters in to pick out their Kenya for the year, and they sat down and cupped 30 different Kenyas, and picked out just one to collectively bring in. This was the overall favorite on the table. They then all agreed to purchase several bags of it apiece, and the importer took care of the legal side of things, and a few months later, here it is. It just happened to be good timing that I was talking to the importer the day after this tasting has happened, and there were a couple bags leftover that no one had committed to, and he offered them to me. At this price, and this quality, and this taste profile, goodness, I'd have been a fool to say no. So now, October 2013, it has finally arrived, in grain-pro bags, with much anticipation.
This is a crowd-pleasing Kenya, which makes sense given the circumstances of how it was selected. It has a well balanced blend of flavors. There is subtle grapefruit, mild winey tones, mild currant, gentle acidity, full body, extremely drinkable. Of this year's Kenya offerings, this one is probably the most traditional as far as being a classic Kenya profile. Now for me personally, it's a little bit boring. I like a Kenya to just smack me with prominent complexity that screams "raspberry!" or "tangerine" or whatever. But the average person is going to love this one. I'm trying to think of anything negative about why someone wouldn't like this coffee, and there's just nothing to say. It's the sort of coffee that everyone is going to drink and go back for a refill.
Now in too light of roasts, it tastes a little bit raw, a little bit sour. You want to give it around 45 seconds to develop after the 1st cracks end, but still well out of the 2nd cracks. That's my sweet spot.
Now the other thing you can do is take it just a few snaps into the 2nd cracks, and you're going to lose most of the winey notes, but you have a sweet African coffee with full body that's super smooth.
The third way to roast this is about 20 seconds into the rolling 2nds. Now you have a smoky sweet dark roast that's really awesome for you dark roast lovers. Anything darker than that it starts picking up burnt tastes, so be careful about your end point. Dark roast Kenya is actually great coffee, and this one is affordable enough to justify taking it dark.