ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | GICHICHI, NYERI, KENYA
NOTES | TART CHERRY, ORANGE ZEST, BROWN SUGAR, BLACK TEA
Kenyan coffee can be a bit... polarizing. With flavor profiles that have a propensity toward the savory (think: tomatoes, herbs), Kenyan coffees are often intensely acidic and very lightly roasted, leaving us with a cup of coffee that sort of shouts at us while we're trying to wake up in the morning. Some people LOVE this unique profile - in fact, the largest exporter of Kenyan coffee almost exclusively exports lots which meet this criteria. But there are others - like many people at our own cupping table - who weren't even sure they liked Kenyan coffees because of this. Enter: Gichichi.
Gichichi Coffee Factory is one of nineteen wet mills which comprise the Othaya Farmer's Cooperative Society (OFCS), located in the central highlands of Kenya. Established in 1950, the OFCS has grown from just 250 farmers to over 15,000 members today, and it employs over four hundred workers at the Gichichi wet mill alone. Here, they use gravity and water in an ingenius way to maximize efficiency: upon arrival at the wet mill, green coffee beans float down man-made water channels where workers are stationed to operate slides, directing the beans to specific stations throughout their processing journey.
Okay, that sounds cool and all, but what about this coffee? What makes it stand apart from that familiar, punch-y Kenyan profile? As is nearly always the case, processing makes all the difference. This lovely washed lot from Gichichi Coffee Factory has what we feel many Kenyan coffees lack: balance. The addition of profound sweetness in the flavor profile of this coffee creates a melody that won't overwhelm your ears - err, your palate - but instead invites you to appreciate each instrument in harmony with one another. The cup manages to balance between a big, full-bodied sweetness (which we experienced as brown sugar) and a bright, citric tartness (reminiscent of tart cherries and orange zest), all while tipping its hat toward that more familiar, herbal savoriness (in this case, like black tea). If you're unsure about Kenyan coffees because of cups you've had in the past, don't worry - this one won't punch you in the face. It changed our minds about what a Kenyan coffee can be, and we invite you to experience it anew alongside us.
Producer | Othaya Farmer's Co-operative Society
Wet Mill | Gichichi Coffee Factory
Process | washed
Variety | SL28 & SL34
Elevation | 1795 masl