In February, I ventured to Africa to visit producers in Ethiopia and Kenya. After flying from Adis-Ababa to Nairobi, my plan was to spend four days with the experts from Dorman’s – the main specialty coffee exporter of Kenya. As it turned out, my timing was excellent! I was in Kenya at exactly the same time as a group traveling with The Nordic Approach. The group included my friend, Heath Cater of Supreme (Australia) Tim Styles of Workshop Coffee (London), Anne Lunell of Koppi (Sweden), Olga Melik-Karakozova (Russian Barista Champion), and Morten Hildebrand of The Nordic Approach (Norway).
I rearranged my schedule so that I was able to travel with this crew, tasting delicious samples, visiting farms, & wet mills. I also got to experience a safari! I took a bunch of photos, including the picture of the elephant featured on our website and postcard. Watching the elephants was incredible and I felt lucky to have had the chance to experience it.
The favorite coffee I selected on this trip was the Gichatha-ini AA. This coffee stood out from other lots of Kenyas I tasted because of its nice acidity, sweetness, and distinct winey characteristics. The parchment (washed and dried green coffee) from weeks 18 and 19 of harvest were the best of any I tasted.
- Heart is the only roaster in North America to purchase week 19 AA. The rest were bought by The Nordic Approach.
- The lots I selected were from weeks 18 and 19 of harvest. Although both very delicious, there were some slight differences between the two. The lots from week 19 (which we are currently roasting, probably through November 2013) had slightly more body and more ripe fruit.
- The week 18 lots, which we are saving to the end, being slightly more floral. This green coffee is in vacuum-sealed boxes waiting a few more weeks until we are finally ready.
- Gichatha-ini is part of the Gikanda cooperative, which is farmer owned by nearly 900 members.
- The factory (mill) is one of the most forward-thinking in the region, using several sustainable practices that contribute to this coffee’s beauty. Clean water for depulping is channeled from the river Ragati. The water is recirculated, then disposed of in soak pits that are located away from water sources.
- Pulp is collected and used as mulch to improve soil structure and organic matter content.
This is the last of the three Kenya coffees on our menu this season. We expect to have the week 19 lots through late November and then switch to the week 18 lots.
Find this coffee here on our webshop. Any orders will also include the new Gachatha-ini postcard featuring the elephant photo.