I took this coffee home from The Roasterie cafe thinking that the brightness of a Kenya might work better than some of the other coffees I tried at the cafe. Brewed several ways, including French Press, Chemex and with both gold and paper filters in my Abid, I was pleased with this coffee. I noted milk chocolate, light molasses, dried fruit (currants?) and melon. I was only barely bothered by a slight off-tobacco aftertaste.
That said, this coffee was very mild and generally lacking the bolder acidity one expects to find in a Kenya, whether of the bright lemon or richer, roasted tomato variety. The Roasterie themselves describes this sun-dried coffee as having:
a bright cherry acidity, complemented by hints of tart black currant and subtle ripe tomato juice. This coffee’s heavily syrupy body carries through into a creamy and elegant finish.
I got the same heavy body and mouthfeel with only hints of dried fruit. It was so lacking in acidity at times that I genuinely wondered whether the person behind the bar bagged up something other than a Kenya.
One factor at work here could be the air roasting. More than likely, though, is that this coffee is a French Roast, far darker than I generally want any coffee roasted. The roast wasn’t listed on the cafe menu and was something that I only learned later when looking it up on the website. What was odd was that this coffee, while a little oily, didn’t exhibit the sheen of oil or otherwise burnt qualities you tend to find in French Roasts. All in all, this coffee, like cafes in Kansas City, was proving to be enigmatic.
The confusion I experienced around this coffee was somewhat abetted by the very good results I achieved when brewing it as espresso. I never could completely eliminate a heavy tannin quality, but I nevertheless got a very delicious shot with plenty of sweet roasted vegetables, molasses and a very creamy mouthfeel.
The bottom line is that this coffee didn’t deliver as promised or expected, keeping me confused all the while. Still, it produces a decent cup of fuller-bodied filter coffee and an enjoyable SO espresso. I can say that with the benefit of hindsight this coffee is worth trying, but go into the experience with your eyes fully open.