First, many thanks to Holly and Paul, the founders of Kaito Coffee Roasters, for sending us some of their coffees.
Their roasting facility is actually pretty close to us – about an hour’s drive – although we haven’t yet made the trip out there.
Anyway, they have a slightly different approach to categorizing the coffees they source, roast and sell.
Instead of categorizing simply by region or roast, or a combination of the two, the categorize by “familiarity”.
That’s my choice of word, not theirs. Hopefully I’m not misinterpreting what they have in mind.
But here’s how I see it.
Their Blue coffees have tastes you’re likely familiar with. Think about a favorite coffee from your local coffee shop. Bold, rich, maybe a little chocolaty, and naturally sweet.
The Yellow coffees are likely a little less familiar to many coffee drinkers. A little lighter, a little less chocolate and more fruit and nut tones.
The Red coffees are for coffee drinkers with more adventurous tastes, who deliberately seek out coffees that are new to them.
Holly and Paul sent us a bag of each, all of which we’ll try.
But being the adventurous detectives we are, we thought we try the Red one first.
It’s a Yirgacheffe coffee from Ethiopia. More specifically, these beans come from farms in Kochere, a small micro region in the Ethiopian Gedeo zone, located southwest of the town Yirgacheffe, close to Ch'elelek'tu.
Yes, there are plenty of subtle taste differences to be found in the different areas within the broader Yirgacheffe region.
As expected, this isn’t a dark roast. From the look of the beans, I’d say they are medium roasted, and closer to the light end of the spectrum.
As always, we ground the coffee beans immediately before brewing. But, for the first time in about three years, we didn’t use our trusty Bonavita drip brewer.
It’s not that we don’t like it anymore. We do. But we’re having a bit of a love affair with our new Breville Grind Control brewer.
This is a grind-and-brew machine. It both grinds the coffee and brews it within the one machine. This means the beans are ground literally seconds before the hot water falls and extracts the full flavor from the grounds.
As for the Kochere coffee itself, we really liked it.
My wife is the better taster of the two of us, and has an excellent nose for coffee aromas. I never tell her what she’s tasting, but she always nails it.
This coffee has an aroma that is light and fruity, and its taste follows on along the same, subtle lines.
This isn’t bold or heavy. Nor does it draw its sweetness from caramel of chocolate tones. (Choose the Kaito Blue coffees for that.)
This has a light and very bright taste. It opens with those floral notes, fills the mouth with berry flavors, piques the tongue with a slight astringent quality, and closes more towards the citrus end.
There is a natural sweetness to this coffee which comes from the fruit and berries.
As promised, this is a very interesting coffee. Definitely at the unfamiliar end of the spectrum. And without question worth a try for the more curious and adventurous coffee lovers.
NOTE: This product was sent to us free in return for a review. (That said, we always reserve the right NOT to review a free product if we don't like it, or feel you wouldn't like it.)