Herbal, integrated, silky. We say these things with a straight face.
We also write them in out little notebooks. In the case of this coffee, there's a fourth word we wrote, right under "herbal": vetiver.
Vetiver isn't a very common descriptor, at least not for coffee, at least not for us. And yet...
First, Jeremy cupped this coffee in Nairobi. Months later, Jodi tasted it in Othaya. Upon her return, they agreed that they had each tasted a few great coffees, and set Four Barrel up well for the coming harvest. But they had one question: What was going on at this place Gura? Why had they both completely independently, inscribed "vetiver" as their descriptor for a great Kenyan coffee?
Part of the mystery is that Gura is so normal, at least in terms of upper-echelon Kenyan coffee. It's one of the more recent additions to the Othaya Farmers' Cooperative Society, which serves several smaller co-ops the size of Gura (including Kamoini, another Four Barrel favorite). The location (Nyeri), the elevation (high), and the varieties (SL28 and SL34) are all exactly what one would expect of a great Kenyan coffee-grower.
So why the vetiver? Why the integrated, silky, herbal, vetiver?
Since then, we've visited a couple of times, and we have a couple of ideas--nothing particularly conclusive or worth sharing yet. This coffee, on the other hand...It's definitely worth sharing, in all its mystery.