Kenya Ruarai

It was tough to find a Kenya with the taste profile and vast complexity we look for as well as social responsibility. Ruarai Estate is under the Nyeri umbrella which is the closest thing to Fair Trade that Kenya has right now. We got it through Royal Importers who are some of the best in the business and they bid on it at auction after picking it out ahead of time as a coffee that they wanted to buy. (And apparently so did a lot of other hopeful buyers, based on the price they ended up paying for it...)

These are the large AA beans and are easy to roast. I keep it at a City roast, not too far out of the 1st cracks. What I liked about this Kenya was the Cranberry Orange undertones. I drank some with a slice of turkey and it was an awesome pairing! For that reason, it's a perfect fall/winter/holiday coffee, and also a fantastic desert coffee (fruit pies? cheesecakes?). Yes cranberries and oranges are tart, but the coffee isn't distractingly tart. Just tart enough to keep your mouth interested in another sip. And if you want to really explore the complexity, I think you could say Peaches and Strawberries are hiding in the mug as well. As I roasted it to Full City, the flavor fell flat and was much less enjoyable, so either keep it light, or take it really dark, like 15-20 seconds into the 2nd cracks. Obviously you'll lose the Cranberry Orange, but Kenya makes an awesome dark roast because as a French Roast it still has sweetness and juiciness to it. A little bit of vanilla...something like a toasted marshamallow that briefly caught on fire? A really striking mug of coffee if you like the dark brews.

Single Estate Kenyas are pricey, but they are worth splurging on.