Largely unschooled in better quality Kona coffees, I was intrigued to see one on the table at Kean’s new Tustin store, and even more interested to see it selling for $20/12oz bag, a veritable bargain for 100% Konas (at least those that are any good). I was told by the staff that Martin Diedrich is close friends with this grower and Kean is the only seller of this particular coffee. Assuming the coffee was at least decent – a good bet given the quality of their other coffees – I figured I couldn’t go too wrong for this price and decided to take the plunge.
Overall, this Kona reminded me a lot of the Esmeralda Geisha I purchased last year from Flying Goat coffee in Santa Rosa. My first taste was underwhelming, but as I settled into the cup the complexity grew. A few more days rest and continued tasting and my appreciation of the subtle nuances of this coffee really grew.
This Kona, I suppose like any good Kona, is extremely mellow and exhibits nice chocolate qualities, but I also noted some lemongrass like acidity, peach, lime, apple, pepper, sassafras, vanilla, and possibly some floral notes in there as well, in a coffee that yielded increasing acidity as it cooled. Depending on the day and the brew method I always seemed to get something new in this slightly viscous, but not particularly syrupy coffee.
What was also impressive was how flexible it was, yielding great coffee whether I brewed it via siphon, French Press or pour over. While I didn’t think too much of it as espresso – or perhaps I never wanted to expend my coffee reserves on dialing it in just right – I did find that it made a fantastic iced coffee. I just chilled the leftovers from the siphon.
Despite the price, this high quality, well roasted coffee is well-worth worth exploring whether you appreciate, are wowed by or think you are long over the thrill of Konas. It really is worth the splurge.