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LSOL October - Atkinsons [Lancaster]

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Thanks. Think I'll play it safe just incase.
I've had a look, they dont ;-)

keep calm and grind flat

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Thank goodness for that - I would have kicked myself very hard if I had inadvertently given the game away...

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Had my first today, definitely got the butterscotch with milk

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And now the big reveal.... if any of you have been sneaky and had a peak on the Atkinson's website it won't have been difficult to spot which coffee we have been enjoying.

The info on their website is excellent so that's what you're getting.

 

THE ROAD TO RIOKI

 

Origin Kenya

Region Kamitim Kiambu

Variety SL28 - SL32 Some Ruiri 11

Process Wet Processed with clean river water

Altitude 1788 MASL

Soil Type Red Volcanic soils of Kikuyu Loam Series

 

THE ROAD TO RIOKI

 

Of all the hundreds of high scoring and often famous Single Estate Kenyan coffees we must have had over the years, it is our own little known Kenya AA Rioki Single Estate that we have a real soft spot for. It's taken us a while to get this coffee in but all the best things are, of course, worth waiting for and this elegant and exclusive coffee is no exception.

 

When I first visited this farm, I was also lucky enough to see the coffee go through the auctions in Nairobi, see it command high prices, only to see it then snapped up by some well organised German coffee buyers, who really know and appreciate their Kenyans. The auction room is a strange mix of old colonial, wood-panelled furniture, with raked seating like an Art Deco Cinema, and a huge high-tech scoreboard . At each console, next to the now defunct ashtray, is a push button for placing your bids on the giant digital screen, complete with Space Invaders style sound effects. To see the price of Rioki soar, to the accompaniment of wolf whistles from the other traders, was actually for me an encouraging sign, a sure-fire indication that this coffee came with a reputation. This year our persistence has paid off yet again and we now have our Rioki 'Relationship Coffee' back in stock.

 

Just like the First Flush Darjeeling we always anticipate the arrival of the new crop Kenyan. When I was there I saw the great, traditional, sprawling plantations, set among beautiful rolling verdant countryside, seared through with tracks of rich red volcanic soil - a vivid reminder of the fertile rift that runs the length of this tract of East Africa – the spark that lit the chain reaction of bio-diversity, the very explosion of life in the region.

 

Back on the road, we were taken by our host Josphat from the bustling streets of Nairobi, to meet the farm manager, Caspar and other staff at the farm, in the beautiful region of Kiambu with its deep, rich red volcanic soil, cutting through the green landscape with every dirt track & piece of cultivated land at every turn as we climbed into the hills.

 

These are old plantations in the Nyeri region, planted in serried ranks but giving away their age now and then by being interspersed with some huge mature trees, providing welcome shade at regular intervals. On the way I was struck by one particularly fine specimen & also by the fact that the urbane, city dwelling Josphat, our guide and exporter, was likewise full of admiration for this glorious tree by the roadside and we stopped for the photo opportunity and to take it in. I suppose the magnificent arboreal giants like these can strike a universal chord of admiration in us all, no matter how far we've travelled from the Savannah.

 

As we passed through the gates, there was a sign showing we were now in Rioki Estates (1970) Ltd an enterprise owned by the farmers, whose members now number over 3,000 to cultivate this area of 289 hectares, of which 249 ha is planted with coffee and 50% of which is interspersed with indigenous & exotic shade trees. Pre-dating the setting up of this company the farm had originally been a missionary station, the legacy being the primary & secondary schools on the farm and which might also explain the age of some of the gnarled old root stock in evidence, still being productive today. Usually the coffee tree, like the vine, manages a life cycle of useful yield of around 35 years. Here, we were told there were trees, that with judicious pruning, allowing two new leader shoots to develop every seven years, had been there for 85 years! Surely an opportunity to add value to their provenance by marketing them along the lines of 'Vieilles Vignes'? As the roots trace deeper into the soil, they may yield less but deliver more complexity of flavour, a matrix of fig, raspberry, butterscotch, traces of orange, the smoothness of milk chocolate, a great balancing act of gentle acidity and soft mouthfeel but always, in the background, that indefinable Kenyan fragrance of some native flora that is beyond our European frame of reference, like an exotic dried flower that we are yet to identify.

 

Well done to everyone who guessed it was a Kenyan :D

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Lot of effort to cover up the fact it was grown in the hills around Lancaster


keep calm and grind flat

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And now the big reveal.... if any of you have been sneaky and had a peak on the Atkinson's website it won't have been difficult to spot which coffee we have been enjoying.

The info on their website is excellent so that's what you're getting.

 

 

 

Well done to everyone who guessed it was a Kenyan :D

Damn I haven't even opened this yet! Will put my guess in when I've had my first shot & probably still get it wrong!

Laissez les bons temps rouler

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I have to say these beans are getting better with age. I am getting lots of clarity. Caramel sweetness, a little acidity and berries. Really clean tasting espresso and every shot a winner.

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Had these in the espresso hopper since the weekend. Would never have guessed Kenyan and certainly no tomato for me yet.

 

I'm getting the sweetness through milk drinks during slower pours (14>35g 45secs) but it quickly brightens up to tart raspberry and the sweetness drops if I aim for a "normal" extraction around 25secs.

 

Also I've had to go coarser grind than I have in quite a while despite the bean not looking very developed. What's all that about?

 

Thanks to the LSOL gang and Atkinsons. Great coffee and certainly one to tinker with for me but very nice.

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Also I've had to go coarser grind than I have in quite a while despite the bean not looking very developed. What's all that about?

 

Don't discount seasonal changes in humidity and what not but I'm no expert on such things. I'm grinding this for filter at exactly the same setting as a natural Ethiopian and natural Honduran and draw down time is about the same so nothing odd for me.

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Also I've had to go coarser grind than I have in quite a while despite the bean not looking very developed. What's all that about?

 

Thanks to the LSOL gang and Atkinsons. Great coffee and certainly one to tinker with for me but very nice.

 

Its Kenyan , these are normally super soluble as espresso, plus outside colour never gives you the whole story .


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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I’m liking these after these have settled down. Sweet fruit caramel.

 

Really nice brewed earlier on too.


Sage DB; Mazzer Major; VST 15g, 18g & 20g Baskets;TORR Trapez & Perger Tamper

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Just started drinking these as espresso. Big smell of raspberry after grinding but didn't really taste it. Got quite a strong marzipan taste if anything. Will see how they change now they are out of the freezer and into the hopper.

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Just started drinking these as espresso. Big smell of raspberry after grinding but didn't really taste it. Got quite a strong marzipan taste if anything. Will see how they change now they are out of the freezer and into the hopper.
Marzipan is usually bad in my books. Suggests under extraction perhaps but I would defer to others who are espresso experts.

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Really enjoyed these less fruity than recent coffees (I always brew) noticed I have had to reduce the amount of beans to lower end of weight I would use not sure if others have had same Experience

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Late to the party, I know due to an extended stay with our fantastic nhs, recuperation is going well thanks

Onto our thoughts on this Atkinson's special, thanks to them for filling in the gaps and making our first adventure into lsol land such an easy ride Firstly my thoughts, all drunk as espresso, ground in niche and run through expobar office leva, after getting the grind fine enough, tighten tighten tighten, I managed to get some interesting extractions which I varied a little via differing ratios/grind settings etc giving me a taste of caramel initially. After a little more fine tuning I had notes of raspberry as well, but never found the fig or butterscotch mentioned on the bag oh well.

Overall as a first go (I'm still going at it) at lsol a thoroughly enjoyable experience which I hope to repeat soon.

As to our thoughts here's Mrs.MaB's take:- 1 as espresso somewhere she doesn't normally venture into, fruit cake, treacle toffee, burnt fudge, dynamite where she got that from I have no idea 2 as cappuccino cinder toffee/honeycomb, dark bitter choc, liquorice, dark caramel/burnt in a nice way, as before absolutely nooooo idea make of that what you will.

Thanks again to fbs & daren for organising


It doesn't matter how you get there it's only the end result that matters

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Just made a very nice flat white as I have some of this left. The raspberry is certainly cutting through the milk. Mmmmm


Input: 'Terranovered’ Versalab M3 + Mahlkonig EK43 Turkish burrs + Niche

Output: KVdW Speedster + V60 + AeroPress + Syphon + Bialetti Induction Moka Pot + Bialetti Mucka Express + jar of instant for visitors..

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