Complexity & Balance: Kenya AA
Ok, so judging by the lit Christmas tree in the background and the Christmas gift suggestion, we all know that I may be a wee bit late on the video update… Anyhoo, we recently tasted the Kenya AA from BaristaOnDutY, and the sensations we received from this coffee was like taking a trip to the moon – that exciting. We tested this one over different types of preparation as well as different grinds and came to the conclusion that this was more than a “knock your socks off” kinda deal. This coffee’s characteristics are versatile enough to be both complex and balanced – but we’ll get to that part in a sec. The scent alone was like a buttery praline – it made me drool and get a little weak in the knees while yelling “GET IN MY BELLY!!”
Taste Test Snapshot: French Press, Coarse Grind, 4min steep
- Dry Aroma: Buttery, caramel, a hint of licorice
- Wet Aroma: Sweet, honeyed, almond, praline
- Taste: An elegant, nutty earthiness, very citrusy, lemon, bright, clean, winey, chocolate undertones, high acidity
- Overall Notes: A citrusy cup throughout that is eclipsed by chocolate undertones. As it cools, more berry emerges.
Taste Test Snapshot: Vietnamese Phin Filter, Fine Grind, 5-6min steep
- Dry Aroma: Buttery chocolate
- Wet Aroma: Sweet berries
- Taste: Profound nutty, earthy and chocolate flavors that accompany its caramel aroma, a hint of citrus, high acidity
- Overall Notes: This preparation revealed a citrus blast that was finished by almonds and chocolate.
- Click here to learn how to properly use a Vietnamese Phin Filter – by BaristaOnDutY
Taste Test Snapshot: Pour-Over, Medium Grind, 4min steep
- Dry Aroma: Buttery, caramel
- Wet Aroma: Caramel, nectar, honeysuckle
- Taste: Pear-like, fruit, chocolate, berries, high acidity
- Overall Notes: The first time in the pour-over, we got some of the chocolate and dark fruit. The second time around and with a little rest, this coffee had a much more intense punch of berry and fruit. All of these flavors were eclipsed by chocolate upon the first sip. As it cools, chocolate becomes very present. It proves to have a balanced complexity throughout the duration of the cup.
Now here’s where we get to complexity and balance. Can a cup be both complex and balanced – I know, awkward that we use these two terms as complimentary to each other within the same sentence – and if so, what does that mean? There were four key tastes that apply to this Kenya AA coffee: citrus, berries, chocolate, and lemon. Let’s watch to see how they all play a role in this coffee’s existence.
As we see, at different moments in time and over the course of a few different types of preparation and grinds, the Kenya AA reveals its multi-faceted characteristics throughout the experience of the cup while letting us know of its possibilities and its range – COMPLEXITY. There are no “random” moments that are unpleasantly tasted; however, it is a harmonious experience that may catch us by surprise, but it is a pleasant mix of the unexpected, and makes for a very pleasurable and desirable cup – BALANCE. Read more about complexity and balance here.