Ilse Coffee is a roaster based in Massachusetts with a wonderful variety of single origin beans. I recently had the chance to try their washed Kenyan coffee from the Nyeri region.
The coffee began a very sweet fragrance that reminded me of raspberry and tomato sauce. Tomato sauce is a strange one, but the sweet, slightly earthy and richness found in a good tomato sauce seemed to mirror the fragrance of the ground beans really well.
The coffee was incredibly sweet with a raw sugar sweetness that became a bit tarter as the coffee cooled. In the flavor I tasted sweet notes of ruby red grapefruit and more subtle notes of raspberry. The coffee had a rich, decadent mouthfeel that was juicy and quite elegant. The acidity was crisp, strong & steady. The finish lingered and the tomato notes from the fragrance made another emergence. One of my favorite attributes of the coffee was the sweetness and its evolution through every sip.
The Bottom Line
A classic Kenyan coffee with its sparkling sweet profile and rich fruit profile is always a treat. This coffee met that classic Kenyan profile really well and was a joy to drink.