Friday, January 28, 2011

Decaf Kenya AA to shout about

OK. Maybe shouting would be a bit extreme, but an enthusiastic blog is certainly in order! Artisan Coffee Imports has just decafed a fine microlot of Kenyan AA from the Meru region - Riankune cooperative. This coffee was bought at auction in Sept. 2010, so it's fresh crop. It landed in CA Dec. 10 and was decafed the second week of January 2011 at Coffee Process in Houston (solvent method with very careful and precise handling - i.e. original flavor preserved as much as possible.)

It offers an enticing dry aroma of chocolate and casis berries. From the surface of the wet grounds a bursts a joyous combination of sweet honey and nuts. The first flavor has that carmel-cashew baked brownie taste with a medium acidity. The aftertaste lingers on the palette with soft tones of citrus and toasted bread.

Artisan President and Founder, Ruth Ann Church, will be traveling to Kenya in February 2011 and plans to visit the Riankune cooperative. This will be in conjunction with a Millennium Development Goals project where she helps support education for low-income children in the Meru community. Meru is one of Kenya's premier coffee-growing regions, but it harvests the little known "fly crop", or "second-season" of Kenyan coffee. The people of Meru are also generally from the less privileged tribes of Kenya's complex history of colonialism and post-colonialist economics and politics. But now I'm venturing into areas where I really know very little (and it probably shows...)

Back to coffee:
19 bags still available for sale from the Annex (Bay area, CA) and a warehouse in South Bend, IN. Samples available from Artisan Coffee Imports (call 734-717-6278, or email

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