December’s coffee from Kopi – Kenya micro-lot – Gatomboya AB – was a festive choice due to its ‘notes of marzipan, caramel, nutmeg and redcurrant’ and it was certainly enjoyed over the Christmas period by not only myself but also my dad and both grandmas (one of whom was particularly happy not to have to drink instant coffee).
Kenya is well-known for not only the quality of its coffees but also the processes involved from weighing to measuring and buying and shipping. Coffee here is not only sold at auction but growers, through licensed agents, are able to sell directly to overseas buyers. The best lots (size AA and AB) are usually sold in standard lots but if a particular bean – like this one – stands out they are sold as an individual micro-lot and competition is fierce. And you can taste the difference.
This coffee smells totally different at each stage. The beans were fruity, chocolatey – like a Bounty – and merry; the grounds were like a selection box of chocolates with hints of nut, caramel and, of course, chocolate. However, once water was added the coffee was mellow and fruity – particularly, currants and fruit cake (imagine barm brack made with coffee rather than tea).
The taste of this coffee incorporated all these smells for it was nutty with hints of marzipan, fruity just like Christmas cake, but still had that very particular taste that coffee has, and a taste that I find often in African coffees. It was particularly festive and great with a slice of Christmas cake! I thought it would also go well with ‘Bounty Hunter’ – our favourite snack box from Graze – given the flavours but it did not work as well as I expected.
Overall, I enjoyed this coffee but it has not stood out above any of the others. My coffee tastes seem to veer more towards the Caribbean and Latin America and I am yet to find an African coffee that really tickles my taste buds. However, as a festive coffee this is a definite 4 stars.