Welcome back (USA’ians) from Thanksgiving! Today’s coffee review is a Kenya AB Oreti Estate from Hardy Coffee Co. courtesy of my MyCoffeePub.com subscription. It’s always a surprise what will be in that box when I receive it and I got this one just a couple days after chatting with Jason from The Lab about this Fall’s Caffeine Crawls and he was talking up Omaha, Nebraska and Hardy in particular! Serendipity!
Autumn and Luke Pruitt started Bliss Old Market Bakery in Omaha, Nebraska in 2010. At the time, they were subleasing the kitchen and a small store space from Aromas Coffeehouse. They were able to purchase Aromas and open a second location since then. In early 2015 they launched Hardy Coffee Co. as their roasting branch, so Hardy is a new endeavor within an established business. Whew! Here’s a link to the Aromas/Bliss business.
Sorry for burying the lead so deeply in this review, but the more I research the more cool stuff I am finding to share with you! This coffee comes from the Oreti Estate, found on the Thika Plateau in Kenya. It was founded by New Zealanders, Peter and Rowena Harries, in 1946 and the family continues to grow coffee on two estates today. Oreti is a Maori word meaning, “A place of danger and raw beauty.” Cafe Imports has a nice article on the estates and here’s a great video:
OK! Now on to the coffee!! This coffee from Hardy is an AB selection. In Kenya, coffee beans are sorted by size, with AA being the biggest. It was traditionally thought that the bigger the bean, the better, but that’s simply not true, with AA, AB and PB (peaberry) selections all being totally killer this year, in my opinion. The plateau where the Oreti Estate is found is at 1585masl and the varieties in this lot include the classic Kenyan SL-28 as well as SL-14, Batian and Ruiru-11. It’s a fully washed coffee as you’d expect from our pals in Kenya! Usually MyCoffeePub.com has a link to buy the coffee of the month by the bag, but I can’t find it on their page, so here is a direct link to Hardy Coffee Co., where you can purchase this coffee for $18/bag.
Hardy gives tasting notes of, “Grapefruit, rhubarb, floral and nut with crisp acidity.” To me this cup offers a great balance between the acidity Kenyan coffees are known for as well as the bitterness and awesome sweetness and body. I found it to be a super easy drinker when I brewed it in my Gino with a 1:15 ratio. Freshly dripped I caught some black cherry in the aroma and flavor, but as it cooled off to a normal drinking temp the “classic” grapefruit bitterness and acidity started opening up. I got hints of savory tomato which is not uncommon with Kenyan coffees but that seemed to only appear at a narrow temperature range. This cup has big body and is sweet and sugary, but the citrus balances it out to keep it from being cloying. I caught spicy hints of cinnamon and ginger in some of my sips, too. I drank this coffee all the way down to stone-cold and it was awesome and drinkable throughout the whole range.
Kenyan coffees have been fantastic all year and Hardy’s AB Oreti Estate is no exception. The roast profile makes it full and inviting to drink and there are elements of the bright acidity Kenyan coffees are known for but they are restrained and nicely balanced in a very easy cup. I love this coffee and hopefully I can try some more of what Hardy has to offer!