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.
So last week I checked in on BaristaOnDutY’s Authentic Vietnamese 16 Med/Dark Roasted Coffee. It’s a great coffee that has a wide range of opportunity while appealing to many people’s preferences :D. In the dry aroma, I got syrupy, tussin and hazelnut scents. I was both anxious and curious to get a swirl in my mouth. I broke the crust to experience the deep scents this coffee has to offer – which is basically getting your face really close to the cup, puncturing the wet, ground crust with a spoon, and dragging it to the back of the cup – all while you deeply inhale the aroma. The wet aroma released scents of licorice as well as a big jolt of dark berries – plum and raspberries – FREGGIN AMAZING!
Tasting! A smoky cup that has a graceful softness to it. The mouthfeel is very velvety and smooth. Very balanced with medium acidity. *Side Note – what is acidity? Not to be confused with an unpleasant sourness, acidity in coffee is a positive brightness experienced in the cup – the dryness, pleasant snap or tartness with a soft sweetness it leaves at the back of your palate after each sip.*
Ok, back to the task at hand – judging by the aroma of this coffee, you would expect a cup with much darker notes; however, you’re approached with a very balanced cup with a mix of smoke and honey. This coffee can definitely be enjoyed each and every day. I even enjoyed it with a handful of cranberries today – Yummy for my tummy *AND my tongue!*
Suggested Preparation & Grind: Pourover (slightly coarse to fine grind), French Press (coarse grind), Vietnamese Phin Filter (fine grind) The grind featured here was a bit finer and was prepared in a pourover.
Now for the really fun part!!! Food Pairings? I think it would pair very well with a honey-glazed crispy crab wonton. Enjoy it iced. Perhaps a caramel dessert. Show it off to your friends. And FINALLY – ever had chicken & waffles?? GOD, get some with this coffee, but make sure the chicken is CRISPY as hell and glazed with honey. Café Dufrain in Tampa, FL is a place by the water on Harbour Island. Their chicken & waffles would be succulent with this coffee!