IMG_7880I write this during a long Labor Day weekend, as we're trying to grab the last few strands of summer: A few last bike rides, wrapping up some reading, paying a visit to the Spa Castle in Queens, and more. This has not been the greatest couple of months. The economy is still in turmoil, of course, and there's a lot of fear and uncertainty in the news business. At home, we have been coping with some illnesses in my wife's extended family. So it has not always been easy to focus on coffee, though my blog quest can be a welcome distraction. This coffee in particular came and went before I had a chance to fully appreciate it. I bought it at the same time as the Koke from Barismo and Verve's El Balamo-Quetzaltepec from El Salvador. Name Kenya Kirimara

Origin: Nyeri, Kenya

Roasted: Aug. 10 by Novo Coffee in Denver.

Purchased: Aug. 16 at Café Grumpy, 224 W. 20th St., Manhattan, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

Description From the bag: "Full body, hints of citrus, toasted nut, slight black currant."

In the cup After a long sojourn with the coffees of Latin America, I return to Africa for this coffee. I drank this mostly as an espresso.

Kirimara is a small family-run estate on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, at an altitude of 1,760 meters. The coffee is grown in the volcanic soil, then hand-picked and sun-dried.

The name translates roughly from Kikuyu as "near a glacier," and was given to the place by the original British settler who planted the coffee bushes facing the glacier off the peak Batian of Mount Kenya.

and the farm has a a fairly sophisticated marketing Web site.

It even offers helicopter tours for those who wish to visit:

An unforgettable experience will take you to one of the world’s highest national parks, 400 square kilometers of forest and more than thirty jewel-like lakes. The twin peaks of Batian and Nelion crown Mount Kenya, the bulk of which straddles the equator

Here's a photo slide show.

The tasting notes on the bag and at Novo's site put the words to what I experienced.

The coffee didn't bowl me over, but it has a pleasing, subtle flavor. The strongest flavor to me was the toasted nut, with the citrus/currant just a hint in the background. This might be a good coffee to share with friends who are interested in trying high-quality coffee but are not yet ready for exotic or overpowering flavors.

AuthorPatrick LaForge