This year we are offering this coffee as a unique set: 1 Lb. of traditional wet-process (TWP) Kilimanjaro and 1 Lb. of the "Kenya-process" (KP) Kilimanjaro. The two coffees have much in common, and some interesting distinctions as well. The cup flavors are outstanding. There's a very sweet cinnamon spice in the cup at the lighter roast level, pairing well with orange tea notes. City+ to Full City.
I am a little scared how quickly our meager amount of Kilimanjaro will sell out this year, on the heels of the New Yorker article about Aida Batlle. And this year we are offering the coffee as a unique set: 1 Lb. of traditional wet-process (TWP) Kilimanjaro and 1 Lb. of the "Kenya-process" (KP) Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro farm is located on the highlands of the Santa Ana Volcano or Ilamatepec, 40 minutes away from the city of Santa Ana. The Batlle family purchased the farm in 1983, and are the third generation of a coffee family. Aida Batlle (the daughter) takes care of this coffee plantation which is nearly 40 years old, and located in one of the oldest coffee-growing areas in the country. The farm is on the Santa Ana volcanic slopes, and is planted with 80% Kenya cultivar, 15% Bourbon and 5% Pacas. Aida is a "hands-on" coffee grower, seen often at the farm and monitoring all the aspects of the harvest. The New Yorker article represented her active, involved approach quite well. In her zeal to experiment and learn, she has tried a variety of post harvest processes to see how it influences the flavor of the coffee. We cupped samples earlier this year of experimental batches with varying fermentation times and techniques, and from these Aida chose to go forward with a double-fermented Kenya process (KP) in addition to the traditional single-fermented wet-process (TWP) we have offered in the past. The other notable difference with KP is a soaking period in which the coffee is held in clean water after all the fermentable mucilage layer is removed by washing it vigorously between each of the two 12 hour fermentation periods. While the differences are subtle, they are definitely there. Both coffees are great, but I am really impressed by the sweet refinement of the KP sample. Perhaps its just that its new, and experimental, but it offers a slightly different interpretation of the Kilimanjaro flavor that I look forward to enjoying each year when we receive this small lot.
The two coffees have much in common, and some interesting distinctions as well. With both TWP and KP Kilimanjaro the cup has an intense dry fragrance; strong caramel sweetness, dark fruits and berry notes. There seems to be a bolder plum fruit note in the TWP fragrance. The wet aromatics have an almost minty liveliness to them, with honey and butter as well. There are mature fruits in both coffees, raisin and plum. The TWP has a touch of woodyness and apple fruit, whereas the KP is slightly floral on the break. The cup flavors are outstanding. There's a very sweet cinnamon spice in the cup at the lighter roast level, pairing well with orange tea notes. I preferred City+ roast, with violet floral note (especially in KP), black cherry, marmalade, currant fruits, a touch of Meyer lemon and black tea. The fruits have a slightly winey, ripe tonality to them. The body is medium, and pairs well with a malty-sweet roast taste at City+ roast. The volatile aromas on the cup are just fantastic. It is the best of what really high grown Central coffees can be ...it's what many other coffees wish they could be. After you cup a lot of Centrals, you key in on the qualities that this cup has in abundance and amplitude. I find the KP slightly sweeter in the finish with ripe, dark cherry notes. Again a tea-like note, perhaps slight wood accent comes out in the finish of the TWP. I am not sure that has to do with the process, precisely, but it's part of why I can see the KP scoring 2-3 points higher in comparison.