New Africa Arrivals

We have 2 new African lots. From a newer growing region near Harar, we have Ethiopia Organic Dry-Process Golocha, a fruited, low-acid cup with very thick body! It's a longberry type heirloom cultivar, full natural process, The area is still quite remote, and all coffee is brought to the mill via mule! And a new Main Crop Auction Lot Kenya (with the coincidental name of Oaklands) is very bright, yet sweet in the finish: Kenya Ruiru - Oaklands Estate Peaberry. Oaklands is a fairly large estate, and they submit many lots to the Auction. I have probably cupped about 20 lots this year, and they're always good but not great. This one is different, clean, citrusy bright, with caramel sweetness. Oh, also note that a small amount of Panama Lerida Estate Peaberry arrived, same lot as we had earlier but processed out of parchment recently at the Ruiz mill.

About the Kenya Oaklands

About the Kenya Oaklands Estate Peaberry

I roasted up a half pound of this two days ago to city plus. This morning I opened my vacuum container, and was presented with a great dry aroma. Based on my previous experience with the Kenya Roiru (sp?) I was expecting a fantastic Kenya experience, and the wet aroma seemed to indicate a great cup was to follow. Well, the coffee was reasonably good...but the flavor had a slightly bitter edge to it that I had never encountered before in a Kenya (including the edgy peaberry versions). In short, I was tasting a bitterness that overshadowed the rest of the flavor profile. It is still a good coffee, just no where near the neighborhood of quality indicated on this coffee's score as well as the aroma both wet and dry that I experienced firsthand.

I wondered--perhaps rhetorically--if this was an artifact of flawed home roasting on my part, or if the Oaklands is expected to have a bitterness up front that goes beyond the normal tannic bite of a classic Kenya. Perhaps I should take this only to a city roast?? Maybe take it to a full city? Maybe try both? At the moment I am using a hand-crank Whirley Pop since my other roaster went kaput. I have never had a quality issue with the Whirley pop, and I cool my beans quickly (get to room temp in about 4 to 5 minutes). I usually cut most of my roasts at the verge of and/or upon the very first utterance of second crack, which is what I did for the Oaklands.

Any general ideas or thoughts?

Robert