We believe that when it comes to flavor, coffee has infinite potential. Given the right growing, processing, roasting, and brewing conditions, coffee can be made to taste like anything. But if you’re a drinker of single-origin coffees, you’ve probably noticed that coffees from the same origin country often have similar general flavor profiles. Brazilian coffees are notoriously chocolatey and nutty, while Sumatran coffees are known for earthy flavors. And what do Kenyan coffees taste like? As Todd says, “Jam. Jammy jammy jam.”
“Jammy” is one of those weird words coffee people use all the time to describe taste. It means a coffee has strong fruit flavors – especially red fruit like strawberries, raspberries, plums, cherries, etc. – as well as strong sweetness. Jammy coffees also have a subtle earthiness, similar to what you would taste in homemade preserves.
Kenya is often one of the more easily identifiable origins because of the jamminess of their brews. Coffee cherries in other parts of the world have a leathery outer skin, protecting a small layer of fruit around the innermost bean. Perhaps because of the high nitrogen content of Kenyan soil, or the widely-used natural fertilizers (plenty of cows around), Kenyan coffee cherries generally have a bit more meat to them. While they’re growing, those juicy, plump coffee cherries impart a lot of that body and fruit flavor into the beans, which shines through all the way to the final brew.
Our new brew, the Kenya Ibutiti Estate, is a prime example of a good, jammy Kenyan. It’s got a deep molasses sweetness, backed up by distinct fruit tartness that’s reminiscent of blackberries and grapefruit. If you’re curious about Kenyan coffee, definitely jam out on this one.