Fresh harvests from Kenya have finally started arriving! When we heard an Othaya Gura was gonna be an early arrival, we snatched it up. The Gura washing station has always been a top performer, which is saying a lot for the world-renowned coffees of Nyeri. This year’s crop was so good Royal Coffee made it a Crown Jewel selection! Now I know what you’re thinking, “Double Washed” must mean this coffee is clean, crisp and super balanced, right? Think again, my friend. In this context, double washed means it has been fermented for 15 hours prior to a second washing, resulting in a heavy hitting cup that’s complex, flavorful and energetic.
When I drink this coffee, the first word that pops in my mind is “exotic”. Like walking through a bustling market in a Far East metropolis with the intoxicating scent of fresh flowers, spices and ripe fruit mingling in the air. The aroma is thick and heady with notes of jasmine and turmeric, smells that translate well into the cup. Next we tasted notes of fresh lime zest, juicy sweet plum and pear just to name a few. The finish is once again spicy and floral, but not earthy and wild. It feels intentional and elegant, like a perfectly spiced dish. I wouldn’t classify this coffee as “intense”, instead I think “energetic” is far more accurate.
Reminder! This coffee is raw, you must roast it before brewing
Arrival Date: July 20th, 2022. US Arrival: July, 2022, packed in GrainPro
Acidity & Brightness: Bright and sweet
Balance & Finish: Fairly complex with a dry, floral finish
Body & Texture: Full bodied, smooth and silky
Flavors: Plum, pear, lime, jasmine and turmeric
Grade: Grade AA, grown at 1700 – 1890 masl
Processing: Double Washed: Pulped then fermented for 15 hours. Soaked in fresh water for 16hrs, cleaned and sorted in grading channels, dried on Raised beds for 14 - 21 days
Grower: 500 producers organized around the Gura Factory
Region: Othaya, Nyeri County, Kenya
Varieties: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, and Batian
Recommended Roast Range: City+ to Full City+ (Light-medium to medium-dark)
We like this coffee best at Full Medium but you can go a little lighter or darker depending on the flavors you want to accent. Lighter roasts will have more lime and citrus acidity as well as more emphasis on florality. While we rarely recommend darker roasts with Kenyan coffees, this one seems to handle it surprisingly well. According to Evan Gilman at Royal Coffee “rather than having dry distillation notes or a rough finish, this coffee just got stickier and sweeter with more development time!” Click here for more roast notes from Royal.
Royal Coffee - "Mt. Kenya, at the helm of Kenya’s Central Province, is the second tallest peak on the continent of Africa and a commanding natural presence. The mountain itself is a single point inside a vast and surreal thicket of ascending national forest and active game protection communities. The central counties of Kenya extend from the center of the national park like six irregular pie slices, with their points meeting at the peak of the mountain. Many believe the best coffees in Kenya, often the world, are crafted in the wet, high elevation communities with mineral-rich soil that reside just along the lower edge of these forests. Nyeri is perhaps the most well-known of these central counties. Kenya’s coffee sector is dominated by a cooperative system of production whose members vote on representation, marketing, and milling contracts for their coffee, as well as profit allocation.
Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society, the umbrella organization that includes Gura Factory, is one of Kenya’s larger societies, with 19 different factories and more than 14,000 farmer members across the southern Nyeri region. The Gura Factory has 500 members actively harvesting and delivering to the processing center. The factory’s total parchment production was around 135,000 kgs this past harvest, meaning the average member of Gura is farming enough coffee fruit for about 4 bags of exportable green coffee. Othaya Farmer Cooperative Society is one of key member societies of the Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters (KCCE) organization.
Kenya is of course known for some of the most meticulous at-scale processing found anywhere in the world. Bright white parchment, nearly perfectly sorted by density and bulk conditioned at high elevations, is the norm, and a matter of pride even for generations of Kenyan processing managers who prefer drinking Kenya’s tea, which is abundantly farmed in nearby Muranga county. Ample water supply in the central growing regions has historically allowed factories to wash, and wash, and soak, and wash their coffees again entirely with fresh, cold river water.
Gura typically ferments for 15 hours. After fermentation is complete, the decomposed mucilage is scrubbed away and the clean parchment soaks in a fresh water bath for another 16 hours. The parchment is then graded by density and sent to the drying tables, where it will stay for 2-3 weeks depending on the climate. After drying is complete the coffee is stored on site and eventually delivered to the Othaya dry mill for grading and a final density sort. The established milling and sorting by grade, or bean size, is a longstanding tradition and positions Kenya coffees well for roasters, by tightly controlling the physical preparation and creating a diversity of profiles from a single processing batch.”