Willoughby's Coffee & Tea

Kenya AA Kiru

Location: Branford, Connecticut

Origin: South-central Kenya

Roast: Light

Est. Price:

Review Date: July 2009

Agtron: 59/86

Aroma: 8

Acidity: 9

Body: 8

Flavor: 9

Aftertaste: 9

Blind Assessment:

Same admiring scores from Ken (93) and co-cupper Andy Newbom (93) for this smoothly complete, complexly balanced coffee. “Sweet fruit and spice” in the aroma for Andy, which provokes ideas of “stewed jasmine and apricots.” Ken finds flowers and apricot also, along with a little pungent note he calls butterscotch. The acidity is “smoothly delicate” for Ken, “luxurious and suave” for Andy, who suggests the acidity “combined the best of both red and golden apples.” Refined flavor with a fine balance of dry and sweet fruit tones. Andy elaborates with an avalanche of allusions to apricot, casaba melon and “touches of red currant and candied grapefruit.” Rich, deep, “long and glorious” (Andy) finish.


Despite stresses brought on by social unrest, charges of corruption and a confused transition toward an open market, the famed Kenya coffee auction system and its participating cooperatives continue to produce some of the world’s most elegant and distinctive coffees. AA is the highest grade of Kenya coffee based on bean size. This is a fully washed and sun dried coffee made up entirely of coffee from trees of the famous SL-28 and SL-34 varieties, which account for most of Kenya’s fine coffee production. SL-28 is derived from a single tree that reflects both the heritage of the original Bourbon-influenced “French Mission” variety together with Ethiopian and possibly Sudanese influences. SL-34 is directly derived from a single selection of French Mission Bourbon. Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea is a pioneer specialty coffee roaster reinvigorated and refocused on artisan roasting and a very extensive collection of elite single-origin coffees. Visit www.willoughbyscoffee.com or call 800-388-8400 for more information.

Who Should Drink It: Crisply complex lighter roasted coffee with great character but smooth enough to please all palates.

This review originally appeared in the July, 2009 tasting report: Botany and the Cup: The Bourbon Conundrum

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