Kenya Gichathaini AB
Kenya Gichathaini AB from Onyx Coffee Lab
|Farm||Gichathaini Wet Mill|
|Varietal(s)||SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian|
From the Roaster:
This coffee comes from the famed Gichathaini wet mill, one mill of the trio that consists of the Gikanda Farming Cooperative. Consisting of nearly seven-hundred members, this cooperative produces some of our favorite coffees from this region.
While brewing this Kenyan, the aromas were somewhat tamer than what I would hope for in a Kenya. Candied grapefruit was about all that I could pick up. In the cup though, there was more going on. The unmistakable scent of clove was floating out of my mug followed fresh grapefruit and homemade ketchup.
Tangy grapefruit and madagascar vanilla float around on the palate while the medium body pulls at all the sides of the tongue like earl grey tea. There is some pleasing complexity when it comes to the balance of acidity and sweetness. As soon as you realize that the coffee is quite sweet, your brain is already telling you how there is also a zippy acidity (like a really good homemade ketchup) and once you start thinking about that, suddenly you're reminded of the sweetness again. The brain is constantly pulled back and forth between the two -- running from one to the other until the finish arrives. The finish is quite clean. The body slides off the palate as though it were much heaver than it actually is and leaves very little behind once it's gone. The remainder is reminiscent of dry tree bark with a dash of cinnamon but remains subdued.
I was concerned that this review would be part lament because the vast majority of Kenyan coffees that I've roasted and consumed for the last year have been significantly beneath my hopes and expectations. Kenyan coffees have the potential to be truly brilliant and unique. They can smack you in the face with their boisterous body and acidity and at the exact same time show you that they are lovely, delicate, and delectably sweet and nuanced. The best ones almost leave you confused, not knowing if you are sipping on the freshest tomato and fruit salsa you've ever had or enjoying some ridiculously good brown sugar and vanilla bean dessert. Thankfully this is sounding more like an ode than a lament.
So with those hopes and dreams (so often dashed) this coffee arrives as a comfort. It has all of the attributes I've listed above. They perhaps are not all cranked up to 11 as they would be in an uber-specimen but nonetheless they are all present and accounted for. This coffee is certainly presenting in the tradition of the great Kenyan coffees. It seems to have been roasted to emphasize its own unique character rather than please the masses (although any mass worth half their salt should revel in this). Thanks Onyx Coffee Lab for a wonderful and delicious Kenyan coffee.
Grab some Kenya Gichathaini AB from Onyx Coffee Lab for yourself.