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Kenya - Mutitu Estate Micro-Lot

October 29 , 2007

This will be a combined review, both of us having received samples. For a description of Bob and Jim's evaluation procedure, see our reference page.

Mutitu is a small town on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya, in the Kirinyaga region. The mill is used by small-hold farmers in the area. This and the adjacent regions are the premier coffee areas in Kenya, and the coffees from here are consistently among the best in the world. This lot is from Dorman, one of the oldest and most respected Kenya exporters.

Bob's Review:
This is one of the best Kenyas I've cupped this year. It's certainly one of the most flavorful, sporting floral/caramel aromatics, a baked fruit/berry/spice flavor profile and buttered toast in the finish. And oh, that whiff of coconut while breaking the crust...lovely!

This is a coffee that needs no excuses or explanations for non-coffee-knowlegeable drinkers; it'll wow 'em. The acidity and sweetness are just perfectly balanced and that, along with medium-high body and a long finish, make this cup a real winner. I may actually have to buy some!!

Jim's Review:
Kenyas are usually known for their combination of body, acidity and structuring astringency. In this respect the Mutitu disappoints; it has medium body, mild acidity and only a hint of astringency. In every other respect, it is a very fine coffee indeed. Despite the mild acidity, the fruit flavors are vivid, running from peach, through cherry to the classic Kenya blackberry. The roast flavor is a sort of baked honey with a touch of clove, making the cup a real slurper. This all adds up to not quite a great coffee, but a comfortably balanced and thoroughly enjoyable cup.

The story is different for espresso. Here mild acidity and low astringency are virtues, and the Mutitu shot is outrageously tasty, getting a score of around 92.5. If you like SO espresso, you know getting a great one from a Kenya is as rare as a blue moon. So put this one on your list. Pull the espresso roast latest just ahead of the 2nd crack, and you can even try it lighter than that.

Bobs Score
Dry Fragrance: 4.8
Wet Aroma: 4.6
Flavor: 9.2
Finish: 8.2
Acidity: 7.3
Body: 7.6
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 91.7

Jim's Score

Dry fragrance: 3.75
Wet Aroma: 4.25
Flavor: 8.5
Finish: 8.5
Acidity: 7.25
Body: 7.75
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 89.75

  • Lighter Roasts: Balanced berry, baked honey and clove.
  • Darker Roasts: Molasses and clove flavors dominate.
  • As Espresso: Awesomely balanced sweet berries and spice, an extraordinary SO.


UPDATED: October 30, 2007