The holidays are here! Oh snap! the holidays (moving so quickly, practically lap themselves before the actual calendar day(s) arrive) are here? Gulp! With their arrival, the age old questions of who and where to share your time in these effervescent windows of cheer and reflection. And for those special people in your life (sometimes referred to as naughty and nice), the eternal question of, what to gift (corporeal or non-corporeal)? Well since this is a coffee blog, spoilers, coffee suggestions ahead.
So what’s distinct about a cup of Kenya coffee and what is Sump selling and how can you buy it? Coffees (or at least the ones we look to bring into the roastery) from Kenya unfold as follows. Right from go, an unfurling of dried cranberry (not cranraisins or dried sweet cranberries from Whole Foods) -dried, red and unsweetened; maybe even slightly suggestive of a Rooibos tea; full facings of (or sometimes minor hints) grapefruit, sometimes inching toward pith; and always lurking around every facet of the cup is something savory -some cups tip to full Campbell's tomato soup impressions, others playfully tease softer savory notes, like heirloom grape tomatoes or savory tropical fruits, like a jackfruit; and rounding out the finish is typically a big syrupy mouthfeel, with big sweetness (typical of dark sugars; burnt/caramelized sugar, molasses, browns) with a lingering aftertaste of dried fruit, like raisins, figs or dates. Often there exists small pockets of impressions of black tea and minor savory spices/fruits, like tamarind.
We at Sump spend a bunch of time suggesting (I like to call it knowing) how 'snowflake-like' (pejorative? none intended here. unique or singular preferred.) the coffees we curate and present to you can taste. You might have even heard someone (totally the guy with the beard) say, this is why we don't do a blend or emphasizing (with hooked on phonics like pronouncement) 'single origin'. I personally wrestle with this idea of uniqueness or specialness in coffee regularly. I mean, not really, I see it clearly and plainly; but what about the experience beyond the 'me'? The other, the not me.
I used to hate the aeropress. I always thought it produced inconsistent cups and required to much mechanical futzing. I also had a hard time taking it seriously as a specialty coffee brewing device because it was developed by the same individual who created the aerobie fresbie. I thought a toy maker can not also be a specialty coffee device maker and do both well. I think my advice to people when asked during the early Sump years was, ‘it’s a great travel brewer’ -essentially, the brewer of last resort (but still before a K-cup).