A Tale of Two Kenyans: Chapter 2

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H+S Kenya Nyeri Karogoto bagsHere’s Chapter 1, wherein I use SCAA-ish cupping standards to compare these two Kenyan coffees, looking hard for any differences. To get you caught up, in a box of samples I received from Wyoming coffee roasters, H+S Coffee Roasters, were two bags of Kenya Nyeri Karogoto labeled “1” and “2” with a note saying one of them spent 30 seconds longer in the yellow stage of roasting than the other did and asking, “Can you taste a difference?”

In Chapter 1 I cupped them against each other and the differences sure were subtle. I couldn’t really give much of a definitive set of differences, although I perceived some.

In Chapter 2, I did back-to-back AeroPress extractions of the coffees and I felt like I did get more differences this time. For the AeroPress I used Heart’s method. This is a standard AeroPress (not inverted) and I used 18.0g of coffee, same grinder, paper filter, rinsed. Coffee goes into the AeroPress and 270g of water is poured into the vessel. Stir to a count of five and then place the plunger into the top of the AeroPress to prevent drippage (although a little gets through initially). At 50 seconds, remove the plunger, stir to a five count again, re-plunge to prevent more dripping. Press at the 1:45 mark. They have a nice video showing all this. The only way to do this better would be to have two AeroPresses going at the same time.

In this experiment #1 seemed to have that really minty aroma I picked up in the cupping, but cup #2 had less and something maybe more chocolately in it. #1 also had a minty flavor as well as mouthfeel (a real cooling effect in the mouth). It had good bitterness and some dark chocolate notes, too. Cup #2 had more acid and brightness in it with an overall fruitier character and more of a citrus vibe to it. I found it to have a juicier mouthfeel and it had a bit of a drying sensation on my palate that I didn’t get from #1.

As the cups cooled (and I took them all the way to room temp), #2 opened up and got fruitier while #1 seemed overall a little more subdued to me. It picked up some earthy pungent tones that I never got in #2, although that was a temperature window in coffee #1 that didn’t last long (in other words, as it continued to cool that somewhat weird earthy note left the cup, too).

My overall impression was #1 was mintier and had a relatively less complex overall flavor profile while #2 proved to be slightly more complex, juicier, fruitier and carried more citrus acidity with it.

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  1. […] of roasting than the other. Talk about a tough challenge! I wrote about those experiences here and here. Today’s review is of yet another Kenyan coffee they sent me, their Nyeri Kiruga Othaya. […]