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  • Kenya A

    I started using a Kenya A roast 4 days post roast, the first shot I tried clogged the pf, I have been using Honduran and Monsoon Malabar on same grind setting and getting lovely shots but the Kenya must have ground a lot finer clogging up the works. I set the grind finer and finally got good shots out of it.
    Great bean, lovely chocolately notes, good mouthfeel and lingering aftertaste. I took Andys advice and will use it as a single origin. : :-/ :-*

  • #2
    Re: Kenya A

    Yes I noticed too that the Kenya need just the smallest adjustment on the mazzer.

    I blended it with a 4 day post roast Malawi and it was awesome!

    Looking forward to getting my green Kenya A next week and cooking up a batch.

    -Linda

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    • #3
      Re: Kenya A

      ive just done some Kenya A. i got it in the starter kit. im glad to hear its a decent bean.
      whats the difference between it and the Kenya AA?

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      • #4
        Re: Kenya A

        Originally posted by gmeddy link=1206169775/0#2 date=1206312821
        ive just done some Kenya A. i got it in the starter kit. im glad to hear its a decent bean.
        whats the difference between it and the Kenya AA?
        I didnt know you could get Kenya A. I thought their grading system went from Kenya AA to Kenya AB, but there you go. :-/

        I think that the Kenya AA beans are the largest...17/64 to 18/64 inch, so I guess if there is a Kenya A, it would be a little smaller. Some people consider that because the AAs are bigger they produce a better flavour. IMHO there are so many other factors to be taken into account it may not make all that much difference.

        Rest assured that whatever happens to be in the starter packs is of excellent quality.

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        • #5
          Re: Kenya A

          Depending on the exporter from Kenya as to what grading they follow (not all use the coffee board) but as a rule their export size grading goes something like..

          E 20+
          AA+ 19+
          AA - 17-18
          A - 16-17
          AB 15-16
          B - 14-15
          C 14-16
          T - 10-14 (mostly brokens and floor sweepings from grading others) ;-)

          The C & T grades are sold bulk for ground or instant coffee, far too ugly to sell as whole brown bean and they would be very hard to find from an Australian broker because the freight would cost more than the bean.   These really are floor sweeping grades.

          There are also FAQ "Fair Average Quality" grades in between which are the mostly a mixture of sources (not a single farm).

          Not all brokers/importers carry all sizes and will often only carry a premium AA largest size and a cheap lower grade (AB FAQ) as an option.

          There is also a numbering system of cup quality that is used on all hte grades but getting that information can be hard.

          As for the E grade, I have only tried that once before, not sure where it all goes but its not Australia.

          This particular Kenya A was stunning with very high acidity and as Greenman said in the initial post, miles of chocolate.  Tis easily the best Kenya I have sampled for a couple of seasons.

          ...and yes, I agree with Dennis, all the coffees in the starters are excellent quality beans that are chosen to give a range of origins, varieties and cup profiles so you can see if home roasting is a hobby that suits you!

          Blended with the Malawi eh Linda? Dark chocolate on dark chocolate with a hint of coffee somewhere. Thats nearly a dessert, add a dollop of cream and try it as a Vienna.

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          • #6
            Re: Kenya A

            Id like to relay an interesting story with this bean which caused quite some surprise on my part as to the flavour. Read on if you can handle it!

            To describe all the ugliness of what took place, I roasted my regulation 250g in the Gene, started at 228 with the intention of ramping up to about 236 after FC. I was roasting outside in fairly poor light; heard FC start, and then a few minutes later heard some deeper SCish cracks, the colour looked fairly dark so figured it was ready; but there was no smoke, the smell wasnt really right for SC, the beans still had a fair bit of chaff and somehow it just didnt feel right. Anyway I dumped them with the emergency stop and cooled through some colanders, and the more I looked the more I felt certain this roast wasnt done; in better light the colour looked too light and I eventually realised Id dumped and 3/4 cooled a roast that had only just hit FC! I remember reading posts which would suggest this roast was gone but I figured I had little to lose so loaded it back in and restarted the roast. The beans were still fairly hot but nowhere near the 228 they left at. Carried it through and probably 6 or so minutes later Id definitely hit SC, typical signs of smoke, smell and next to no chaff. This time it came out and was cooled, and the beans were CS10, smooth and chaff-free. Thats more like it!

            But it gets worse! I was going away the next day with only the Presso, so these beans, about 12 hours post-roast, went into the grinder to be used as pre-ground! . I finally got to the coffee about 24 hours after this, as you could imagine from this background, with a certain amount of trepidation!

            Wow! I must admit my pleasant surprise at the chocolate notes others have mentioned. I say pleasant surprise not because I expected CS beans to be poor by any means but I thought (mistakenly I now see) that the letters were an indication of quality not size so I didnt expect them to be that good. Also Id read the cupping notes as being quite acidic which I also dont tend to enjoy but these were roasted to about CS10 and really impressed me! So, despite almost a worst possible case scenario in the preparation of the bean, I was still able to get rich chocolatey espresso from this bean, which is a testament to its quality. When will it be back??

            Greg

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            • #7
              Re: Kenya A

              Sounds like youve stumbled across the contentious idea/methodology of "double-roasting" Greg!

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              • #8
                Re: Kenya A

                Contentious is certainly the word from what Ive read, but in my situation it was a case of try a reroast or ditch the beans and start again. With the rest of the house madly packing for an early departure the next morning there wasnt much of a choice to be made!

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                • #9
                  Re: Kenya A

                  Greg,

                  Im amazed it turned out so well.

                  On a few occasions when Ive had interrupted roasts (thanks Western Power > >)..... continuing the roast produced what looked like a well roasted bean.... but tasted either pretty ordinary.... or down right disgusting!

                  Interesting to see yours was apparently so successful.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Kenya A

                    ... or perhaps the cupper was too consumed with simply drinking espresso-based coffee miles from a power point and was blinded to the reality! Dont think so actually, it was surprisingly good under the circumstances.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Kenya A

                      I just roasted some Kenyan A to a very uniform CS9-10, just about 30 sec into 2nd crack. The raost was long and slow finishing just under 19 min. I found a lone stray bean after bagging the rest and had a chew.... Wow! I got some chocolate/coffee initially with a very fresh citrus lemon/orange a bit later. I really cant wait to sample this one.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Kenya A

                        Brewing Kenya A, Malawi AA+ Panwamba 60/40 at moment 5 days post roast CS9. Slightly acidic as espresso but lovely chocolate notes and body, lingering aftertaste, my daughter doesnt like the acidic bite in her long black, last blend was Colombian which she preferred.
                        Made a great flat white!!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Kenya A

                          Hmmm.... I bought one of the Kenya A bags from Februarys BB together with another local CSnobber and Im not having any luck with it.
                          Im roasting in a colunder with a hand-held heat gun (stirring with a wooden spoon) and while I lack temperature control/repeatability, I usually get decent results. Not with this bean. First of all, it doesnt seem to roast as consistently as other varieties, I almost had the impression that I had some beans reaching SC while some where only just reaching FC. In general, the period over which I heard cracks was very long and not well-defined as in other beans Ive roasted.
                          I stopped roasting after about 20 mins or so when some of the beans were starting to become slightly oily.

                          Grinding it up and drinking it the following day: using the grind setting I had for Indian Monsoon (which I like a lot) the portafilter clogged up, so I went to progressively coarser grinds. I just found this coffee so acidic and generally unpleasant that I couldnt discover any chocolaty notes whatsoever.

                          I tried another roast, again with the same inconsistent and horrible tasting result. I also roasted another batch of Indian Monsoon using the same method and that was really nice.

                          Any hints what I could do differently ? Maybe some suggestions for blending, but I dont really want to ruin a blend with a bean I dont like.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Kenya A


                            The Kenya A is certainly a lot more acidic than the Monsoon (they are at each end of the acid scale) but it sounds like you are missing the mark on the roast.

                            There are a few clues in your post... uneven, oily and overly acidic.

                            I would suggest a much slower start to the roast (these are much denser than the Monsoon), ramp the heat longer and dont rush the 1st to 2nd gap.

                            Oil shouldnt appear during roasting but is ok if it appears in the rest period.

                            Also try roasting a smaller batch as you might not be getting even heat through all the beans.

                            Its a stunning coffee and you will know when you get it right.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Kenya A

                              pluggulp,

                              I have roasted the Kenya A with Malawi AA and it is one of the best blends. Both were roasted around the CS 9-10 and it was done with a slow roast , around 17 minutes.
                              I found that the Kenya likes a deep roast and the Malawi compliments it so well.

                              Hope this helps, and dont be disheartened with it, it really is an excellent bean.

                              -Linda

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