It’s impossible for me to resist...
a special release coffee, especially when it’s from Kenya, or anywhere in Africa for that matter. I love African coffees. I’m a sucker for all the fruity, juicy, and sweet notes that their coffees have to offer. They often have a sparkling, playful acidity, and really are like happiness in a cup. Also, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters never disappoints. This crew really hits it out of the park. From going to origin to select the green coffee, taking it home, roasting it, and serving it to you with a smile (shout out to my peeps are Dark Horse North Park), the experience is always outstanding.
So, long story short, on my normal Saturday routine (which often includes a Dark Horse stop) I saw this little black box staring at me from the retail shelf. It had brightly colored lettering spelling out deliciousness, and that is spelled K – E – N – Y – A. On top of that the coffee is a natural process, which means the coffee bean is dried inside the fruit. This process leads to; you guessed it, a super fruity flavor with a high level of clarity.
When ground the coffee had a very fruity, mixed berry preserves type fragrance. When hot water was added to the mix the aroma developed into deeper blackberry notes and a hint of sweetness. As I brewed it up in a Chemex, using my tried-and-true 1:15 brew ratio, my mouth watered. Since part of the third wave experience is developing coffees to taste the way they smell, I was ready to dive in.
After a what felt like a lifetime, but was actually only 3 minutes, I was able to get this into my cup. Still steaming hot the first sip was bright, and zipped along the sides of my tongue with blackberry tartness, and mellowed into a strawberry sweetness with a velvety mouthfeel. A slightly bitter, but pleasant aftertaste lingered and really urged me to drink more. As it cooled it only got sweeter. Once at room temperature it tasted more like fruit juice than coffee.
Not long later I brewed another batch as a Japanese iced coffee. This changed the coffee dramatically, but not in a bad way. Once again I brewed it to the 1:15 brew ratio, but the dynamic of the coffee changes as its brewed over ice. Immediately the coffee is sweeter, lower acidity, but still has that pleasant round body. Unlike cold brew, when its brewed with hot water you get a lot of the unique flavors lost to full immersion brewing.
In the end this Kenya natural coffee is versatile, juicy, and fruit forward. It's worth the price of admission, which is substantially less than the special release Geisha. On my rating scale this bean scores an obvious 'Buy It'. Once again, it would be a 'Stock It' but its a limited release, so thats not possible. So for now you can try and order some of your own if it's still available, or just live vicariously through my experience.