I will admit that I find Kenyan coffees (in Donald Trump’s terms) to be “number one tricky”. I keep giving them a shot because the really great Kenyan coffees are so highly regarded and raved about, but I’m usually left thinking that maybe I’m just not a Kenyan coffee guy, thinking they’re usually too subtle or perhaps lost on me. Gachatha AA from PT’s Coffee Roasting is a Kenyan coffee that makes me understand Kenyan coffees. This washed SL-28 and SL-34 varietal is traditionally washed and left to soak overnight in clean water before being put out to dry and be sorted. This lot is graded AA for quality, which is the highest level.
I knew this coffee would be complex and sweet with a description of:
"This lightly roasted coffee features a floral lavender aroma, syrupy body, and vibrant acidity. When brewed it has notes of crème brulee and prunes with a sweetness of blackberry jam and deep port wine and cola finish."
I don’t know if I will ever be able to taste and describe coffee on that level, but this coffee is very good, complex, and sweet. The lavender aroma is strong when brewing, and the coffee did retain a syrupy body, especially as espresso. I think my favorite part of this coffee was the juicy berry acidity that filled your cheeks like a mouthful of fresh fruit. The finish was lingering and also had a bit of biscuit-y malt-y-ness similar to the finish of New Belgium Fat Tire out of the bottle. I know that sounds weird, but it’s what it reminded me of.
I brewed the coffee in the 02 size Hario V60 using a 1-17 ratio that seemed to allow for more transparency.
- 21 grams of coffee, 30 second stirred bloom of about 60 grams of 200*F water.
- Slow and steady pouring to about 250 grams, stir.
- Additional pours maintaining the water level until final yield of 357 grams is reached.
- 3:00 total brew time.
This coffee is such a great representation of good acidity in a coffee. Acidity is important as it adds mouthfeel and complexity to a coffee and this coffee has it in loads, in the best way possible, while remaining very balanced and sweet.
As espresso, the coffee turned up this acidity a bit more, and it proved to be more challenging to balance that acidity, sweetness, and floralality. Meaning, if extracted to slow or dense, it showed signed of over extraction and lost the floral notes, but if extracted too fast or too high of a yield it became too acidic. Balanced shots were tricky, but rewarding as a bright espresso.
18.3 grams in an 18 gram VST basket > 28-34 grams out in 32 seconds at 203*F
I did feel the coffee was a bit lost in milk. As a cappuccino, it certainly wasn’t bad, offering that kind of sweet biscuit-y sweetness, but I do feel that this coffee is too good when brewed to be shrouded in milk.