Kenya Thika Chania - French Mission Cultivar

Out of stock
  • Process Method No
  • Farm Gate No
Region Africa
Grade AB
Appearance .6 d/300gr, 17-18 Screen
Roast Recommendations City+ to Full City. The roast darkens considerably at C+ and might appear darker than it really is.
Weight 1 LB
This is a very unique lot, a throwback coffee from a cultivar introduced over a century ago, a unique lot of Kenya coffee. It is not sold in the Kenya Auctions, but via direct purchase (which was not allowed until a couple years ago). It's called Second Harvest, and it doesn't necessarily yield better results ... but it allows buyers 2 avenues to get great coffee from Kenya. Most of our lots come through the competitive auction but this was bought by an importer who wanted to ensure they got all the coffee from this farm. The farm is from 1525 meters in the Thika district, from one private estate, Chania. French Mission Bourbon is an original cultivar, brought by French missionaries in the late 19th century from the island of Bourbon (now Reunion). (There was also Scottish Mission that entered via Tanzania in the south with ... you guessed it ...Scottish missionaries). The green coffee does have a different appearance than the excellent SL-28 and SL-34 from Scott Labs in the 1950's. The comparisons with Rwanda begin, since that country is planted entirely in old Bourbon cultivar. It looks somewhat like Rwanda Bourbon, and the cup has suggestions of it too. It reminds me of a very distinct Rwanda Bourbon, which makes sense in terms of the cultivar expressing itself here. There are vague hints in the dry fragrance of that heritage, balanced chocolate sweet/bittersweets. There are sweet desert-like hints with cake and vanilla aromatics. The wet aroma gives more clues, and the scents really "open up" more. Wet aromas feature more sweetness, some dark berry notes (blackberry) and traces of black current, with just a slight oaky quality. The cup flavors are interesting and a little confounding. It's a hard nut to crack, flavors in the hot cup are very compact and in a tight range, closed. But the flavors that emerge are unique. Again, there are dark berry, clean fruit, hiding behind an imposing and balanced bittersweet roast flavor. The term "well-structured" seems very appropriate, although I use it with some regret; you can taste or smell "well-structured." It's really about how the coffee flavors and scents interact, relate to each other. Fruity flavors that come from processing might be lush and attractive, but have that pulpy character, and are not part of a cup you would term "well-structured." The clean fruits here are more austere and less accessible, but deserve more respect and are more complex. Perhaps another approach is to note how different this is from other Kenya lots. It is not citrusy, not "berry-like" in that intoxicating Kenya kind of way. It doesn't have that prickly acidity, although it is indeed a "bright" coffee.