H+S Coffee Roasters sent me an interesting box of samples recently. I had fun last week trying to differentiate between two other Kenyan coffees, one of which spent 30 extra seconds in the yellow stage 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. Here is the link to buy it for $13.95/bag (and free shipping!!!).
The tasting notes on the bag read, “coconut, merlot, juicy.” I got more tart cherry, citrus and even a bit of mint, but good, either way!
I decided to dust off my Chemex for this coffee and used a 17:1 instead of my usual 15:1 ratio. Even with a fairly long extraction (close to five minutes, not including bloom), my samples turned out great! I don’t know how people do really short Chemex times because even with a coarse grind I can never get it to come in under 4:00. Weird. Anyway…
On their labels, H+S puts “roasted for acidity,” so I was expecting an enamel stripper from this one, but was pleasantly surprised! This wasn’t the most complex Kenyan coffee I’ve had (that honor goes to PERC’s Kiamariga) and I’m OK with that. It still has plenty of layering and changing flavors to make a complex coffee fan happy! This was a nice, surprisingly balanced Kenyan coffee and would make a good choice for the uninitiated as a first coffee from that country.
I got a fair amount of tart cherry from these cups, especially as they cooled. This coffee opened up nicely once it cooled quite a bit, and I enjoyed it even until it was stone cold room temperature. Definitely let this one cool down quite a bit before you dive in!
In the mid-temp it picked up a bit more acidity and juiciness with some citrus flavors. It also had a nice long finish that was bitter, like the hops in an IPA, although the coffee had good sweetness overall. I picked up hints of mint in the aftertaste, too, and a bit of pink bubblegum in there, too!
This is a good coffee. It is complex, but not TOO complex. True to Kenyan form, there’s a lot going on in this cup and every handful of degrees of cooling seems to present the drinker with a new flavor to tease out. In this case, I felt all these layers of flavors played well with one another, as chaotic as they may sound in this review. This is a good cup of coffee, represents Kenya well, but yet is accessible and isn’t overly complex. I loved it!