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Kenya Othaya

Huckleberry Roasters

There's no denying it - we're suckers for juicy, bright, and fruit-forward coffees.  So, we always look forward to new coffees from Kenya, and our second Kenya of the year, Othaya, is a banger.  Ripe blackberry, plum, juicy citrus.

The best Kenyan coffees are mouthwateringly complex - a combination of fruity brightness, deep sweetness, creamy mouthfeel and savory complexity that's unmatched anywhere in the coffee-growing world.  High altitudes and rich, red clay soil certainly contribute to these flavors, but Kenya's unique tradition of excellence is also largely a story of plant varieties and meticulous processing.

Kenya's government has taken a keen interest in not just coffee productivity, but also quality, working with Scott Laboratories from the 1930s-1960s to identify varieties based on both flavor and productivity.  This work has continued to this day with work on disease-resistant plants, but some of the varieties from this initial study, SL-28 and SL-34 in particular, are considered quality gems.  Additionally, Kenyan wet mills, called factories, have a unique approach to removing the fruit from the coffee seed that we eventually roast: extended double fermentation, two washes, and a post-wash soaking period before slow, raised bed drying.  In simpler terms, the best Kenyan producers add a few steps to the washing process that help draw out the savory complexity that makes Kenyan coffees so unique, while also helping to create a super clean, juicy cup.

Othaya is a prime example of how these different factors together create a killer coffee.  The Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society is a group of approximately 20,000 coffee growers in Nyeri County, one of Kenya's most famed growing regions.  547 of these farmers deliver their coffee cherry to the cooperative's Kiaguthu factory, where it is washed in the traditional-but-complicated Kenyan style, and dried slowly on raised beds.  There are lots of stellar Kenyan coffees, but in the case of Othaya Kiaguthu, we think that all the layers of intentionality stack up to a true standout.

This is easily one of the most interesting and complex coffees in our lineup - we taste the juicy citrus pop we've come to expect from the best Kenyans, deep sugary sweetness, and loads of purple fruit, especially blackberry and plum.  We don't want to throw shade on the other coffee's in our lineup, but this one's something special.



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