A Kenya in the grandly classic mode: intense but perfectly balanced, full-bodied, voluptuous with dry red wine and cherry tones, acidy without bitterness. The tactful medium-dark roast rounds the acidity and contributes a slight roasty note.
By Kenneth Davids
September 24th, 2002
The medium roast allows the character of the coffee to emerge, in this case richly and sweetly acidy, complicated by sweet nut notes and, as the cup cools, more characteristic Yirgacheffe floral and lemon tones. An unusual coffee in two respects: light roasted in a region (San Francisco Bay Area) where extremely dark roasting prevails, and rather heavy bodied for a Yirgacheffe.
The moderately dark-roast style mutes the Kenya fruit and gives it a roasty, tart pineapple twist that softens toward a toasty chocolate in the finish. The darkish roast may transform the Kenya character, but the transformation is quite pleasurable in its own right.
The medium-dark but rather aggressive roast preserves a touch of acidity and lemony sweetness amid the dominant roasty tones. More complex than balanced, the closest sensory analogy I can propose is roasted lemon drops.
A dark-roast presentation with a splendid aroma: intense, crisply dry and fruity. In the cup, however, the roast dominates, though patient drinkers will feel a sweet, lush fruitiness behind the roasty bitterness. The halo of fruit persists in the cleanly roasty finish.
This very dark-roasted coffee reveals almost nothing about the potentially interesting green coffee itself except its ability to stand up to a severe degree of roast and still taste quite agreeable. The profile is roasty and charred, but pleasantly free of bitterness and haloed by sweetness.