“Kenya AA” seems to be one of those coffees that is known to many people along with Columbia, Sumatra, and Kona. Despite this fact, I haven’t had very many Kenyan coffees. I’ve had Starbucks’ version (which didn’t wow me) and an over extracted french press serving from Roast & Toast, a cafe/roaster in northern Michigan. So naturally, when given the chance to try a Kenya AA from a company with a great track record I was excited. As for pricing, this Kenya AA is reasonable for a specialty coffee.
Info: The beans appeared to be roasted at the light end of “medium” and smelled extremely fresh when I opened the bag. The label states that the coffee delivers “…snap, spiciness, and lemony brightness.”
Nose: At first when I smelled this coffee I was immediately (in my mind) transported to the brick patio in my backyard, and I had a plate of freshly sliced, juicy cantaloupe on my lap. To some this may seem exaggerated but the melon component is there. The coffee smells bright and happy right away, screaming “SUMMER!” into my nostrils. Under closer examination there is a complex middle layer that smells like figs and tobacco. Rounding out the lower end of the scent spectrum is a roasty sweetness that one would only expect to find in a much darker roasted coffee.
Mouth: Right away I taste possibly the sweetest acidity I have ever had in a coffee. The acidity has the tartness of a lemon but manages to be as sweet as juicy cantaloupe at the same time. It somehow manages to be smooth and slightly abrasive. The acidity has body to it in and of itself and it’s a glorious thing. On it’s way it leaves behind the tiniest hint of coriander. Remnants of seared brown sugar hang around on my palette until I take the next sip.
The Big Picture: This is an absolutely exceptional coffee. It ranks in my top 5 favorite coffee experiences of all time. It is elegant enough to be one of those coffees that you sit around and savor into the late hours of the night but it just doesn’t last that long. It’s too tasty. I can’t sit and savor for more than a few minutes because suddenly I’m gulping it and jumping up and down with joy (literally). If you buy this coffee be sure to try it with some of your favorite dark chocolate (not too dark, maybe 60% cacao) or a sweet and fruity pastry, (maybe a banana muffin?). Due to the brightness of this coffee it would also be a solid choice for those that like to enjoy iced coffee in the summertime. I don’t want to keep going on and on about it, but if you are serious enough about your coffee to be reading a coffee review blog then you should probably try this. It’s really, really good.