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Rosetta Roastery only roasts exceptional single origin coffees but once in a while, they are able to share particularly special 'Rosetta Reserve' releases with us, which are never to be missed. This Kenyan single origin is just such a coffee.
We tasted this coffee before we'd read or heard much about it. From the first sip, it was both a complete surprise and delight. Rosetta is known for its lighter, gentler roasts which often yield delicate, light-bodied cups. This coffee is itself a light roast, which is why we found ourselves caught unsuspecting by its full, luxurious and creamy body.
The flavours that accompanied this wonderful mouth feel varied depending on the brew method, but they centered around certain themes. Our French Press seemed to bring out nutty flavours like hazelnut or chestnut - perhaps even a nutella-like quality - accompanied by subtle hints of tropical fruit and dark berries. Pour-overs, and particularly the Chemex, highlighted those tropical fruit notes with a tangy quality, reminding us of Guava but then finishing with cocoa. The Aeropress seemed to accent those darker fruit notes like berries & plums. All of these were accompanied by a syrupy, candy-like sweetness, often reminiscent of toffee.
With all this flavour, body & texture, this coffee still manages to retain a certain refined quality, that comes from a very clean & clear cup. Its story, and an understanding of its rarity as a Kenyan natural only add to the enjoyment. This coffee won't be around for very long due to limited quantities. If you're an adventurous coffee lover, you must try it while you can.
The penniless sitar player would busk outside the old fairground; his ditties rising with the sweet smells of candy floss and toffee apples. He was not opposed to the odd bit of fancy dress - usually a velvety ripe plum purple Maharaja turban. Obviously. I said he lacked pennies, not style!
Boyce Harries is a fourth-generation farmer working the very same land that his family bought at the turn of the last century. While he may appear very settled on his farm, Boyce is constantly pushing the boundaries in a country known for its conservative - albeit excellent - coffee industry. Not only did he choose to plant the now-very-rare French Mission seed (the original pure Bourbon stock from which SL seeds were bred), but he also chose to dry-process this lot - a risky move, considering the possible pitfalls involved (cherry rot, lack of cup clarity, unpleasant ferment notes).
But it is the three-fold combination of cultivar, Boyce's pioneering spirit, and his tireless attention to detail that makes this microlot the natural choice as the fifth addition the Rosetta Reserve legacy.
This coffee is a rare treasure for two reasons: (1) The lot is comprised of pure French Mission seeds; the original Bourbon seed, which in turn birthed the SL varieties that we know and love. It was believed to have been planted by French Monks in 1897, and it was these plantings that formed the building blocks for the Kenyan coffee industry as we know it today. (2) If good, clean, naturally-processed coffees are rarer than hen's teeth, then good, clean KENYAN naturals are rarer than the teeth of undefeated geriatric fighting cocks. Yeah, there aren't a lot around. Estate owner Boyce Harries is a revolutionary amongst his peers rebelling against the Kenyan status quo that says that wet processing is the only way to go. The result is giant killer of a natural coffee that will be hard to rival.
- Producer: Boyce Harries, Chania Estate
- Region: Thika, Central Province
- Country: Kenya
- Variety: French Mission
- Harvest: 2015 Fly Crop
- Altitude: 1525m ASL
- Processing: Natural
- Packaging: 60kg Grain Pro Bags
- Roast: Light