This month’s MyCoffeePub.com subscription was a bag of Revelator Coffee Co.’s Gathaithi. I’ve been aware of Revelator through social media, but I had no idea they were such a big operation in the south/southeast United States! Before we head into this coffee and learning more about Revelator, check out the links below!
REVELATOR COFFEE COMPANY GATHAITHI
TLDR summary: this coffee is amazing and one of the best Kenyans I’ve had lately, if not ever. BUY! BUY! BUY!
I follow hundreds of coffee roasters on social media and the name, “Revelator Coffee Co.” was familiar to me, but I figured they were a small roaster like so many of the others I follow. A little bit of research proved me wrong! It turns out that Revelator got their start in New Orleans, but quickly expanded to Birmingham, AL to establish their flagship shop and roasting operation. They chose that city because it is relatively close to the rest of the southeast that is their target market to serve (from Texas to the Carolinas). From Birmingham, the Revelator gang quickly spread to Nashville, Chatanooga and Atlanta, too! 1 The article I referenced has everything you need to know about Revelator and you should see this one from Sprudge, too.
I love, love, LOVE that every month’s MyCoffeePub subscription is a surprise. I can’t explain what a nice little pick me up surprise it is to get the coffee of the month box on the doorstep and not know what’s in there! It’s so great! And, after being a subscriber for something like a year, if not longer, I also know that the fellows at MCP are going to pick something I like, so I am never “worried.” Heck, we should NEVER worry about coffee, but that’s another story! This month’s coffee is Gathaithi, roasted by Revelator Coffee Co. It’s a straight SL-28 varietal selection from Nyeri, Kenya. SL-28 is a hybrid that was developed in the 1930’s as a drought resistant, high-yield coffee plant. It doesn’t produce the yield they’d hoped for, but the plant took off in Kenya and, today, it’s responsible for that bright, vivacious cup we associate with Kenyan coffee. The beans in this bag are enormous, too, so just guessing I would say this is an AA selection (AA being the biggest beans in the Kenyan market, which separates lots by bean size).
Nyeri is in the central highlands of Kenya and it is coffee-growing central in that country. Revelator tells us to, “expect an eruption of tropical, mango, grapefruit and persimmon fruit with bright, effusive acidity” and a finish of red grapefruit tonic. Yum! Let’s see what I find, since I’ve never had a persimmon in my life! LOL
I prepared all my cups with my usual 1:16 ratio in my notNeutral Gino pourover with Kalita 185 filters. That’s 28g of coffee with 450g of water and the total brew time hits in the 3:30 to 3:45 time range. That produces a cup with absolutely beautiful flavors in it. Revelator’s roasting definitely accentuates the acidity (the brightness… it doesn’t mean it’s “acidic” like it will bother your stomach… this is a term that confuses and turns a lot of people off, but trust me when I saw acidity is a good thing to have in coffee!) of the SL-28 beans, but, man, there is so much more going on in the cup than that, too.
Yes, I’m getting red grapefruit up front and in the finish and aftertaste in this coffee. It’s bright and there is a hint of bitterness like in grapefruit, but it’s sweet, too, just like the fruit. There is less grapefruit pith (that white stuff inside the peel) than some of the other recent Kenyans I’ve had, so that bitterness component that usually rides along with the grapefruit notes is minimal. I like a little bit of that pithiness, but this coffee is stunning without it, too. The grapefruit notes are more of the grapefruit itself and less of the peel, if that makes sense. It carries through the entire sip, and like fruit, it has that brightness balanced by a ton of sweetness. There are some tropical flavors in the cup… I get hints of pineapple and a little mango, too. The finish on this coffee is neutral to slightly sweet and I get notes of something spicy that I can’t quite describe but I find in most Kenyan coffees. It’s not peppery, it’s not really the baking spices like ginger but it’s a warm baking spice vibe. Whatever that flavor is, it’s awesome.
This Gathaithi is a complex coffee with quite a bit going on, but the elements are all very complementary to each other so it is also very drinkable. Often, for me at least, complex coffees will be less drinkable because there is so much going on in the cup and it doesn’t always mesh well, necessarily. They can be fun coffees to drink, but I often get palate fatigue from them after just a few ounces. This one from Revelator is nicely complex, but SOOOO drinkable. Super sweet, nice acidity… just a shining jewel of a coffee and, not to detract from the other Kenyan coffees I’ve had of late because they were excellent, too, but this one is just knocking my socks off. Masterfully roasted, this is an amazing coffee and I would highly encourage you to buy out MyCoffeePub’s remaining stock if you want to get in on a very special Kenyan coffee. If they sell out, the price is the same directly from Revelator’s site, too!