Thirteen years of coffee and commentary. Tridecaphobes, beware.

Green Mountain’s Game-Changing Kenya AA


  • Rating: Rating: ★★★★☆

I have long been ambivalent — or at least something of a fence-sitter — where the whole single-cup coffee thing is concerned. Single-cup brewers are, by design, a study in compromise between convenience and quality. Do you want cup-at-a-time accessibility? Or do you want the full range and nuance of aroma, flavor body and balance that only grinding and brewing fresh-roasted beans can offer? I’d kinda like both. But the Clover is out of my price range and wouldn’t fit in my kitchen anyway.

I’ve had my hands on what I believe to be most every at-home single serve coffee machine on the market. That would include (in no particular order) machines from Senseo, Tassimo, Keurig, Nespresso, Melitta, Bunn, Grindmaster, Flavia, Juan Valdez, and Black & Decker. Have I missed any? Oh yeah… the Aeropress. While I’m long overdue in writing a full-blown roundup of the single-cup machine landscape — judging by the numbers of folk who flock to single-cup posts in the Bloggle Archives, anyway — this isn’t that article. Instead it’s about a coffee Green Mountain has just released for the Keurig brewer. A coffee that’s something of a game-changer.

Green Mountain’s Kenyan AA (the traditional, whole bean version) has won accolades from Kenneth Davids at Coffee Review, where he awarded it a whopping 96 points and described it thusly:

A coffee at once voluptuous and austere. Delicately complex aroma: flowers, chocolate, tobacco leaf, lemon grass. In the cup an amazingly rich, wine-like acidity, sweet flowers, and a gently crisp, dry berry fruit. Hints of chocolate re-emerge in the cleanly long, almost perfect finish.

Nice. And now that same bean has been tweaked to perform for the Keurig machine. The roast is a touch darker, to hedge against the Keurig brewer’s wont to make acidity a little shrill. The result is an honest to goodness grand cru coffee in a K-Cup.

The Kenyan AA Extra Bold offers stunning coffee flower and tobacco aromas, winey acidity — held in check, but not tamed by its medium roast — with flavors that include jammy dark fruit and chocolate, and the distinctly sensual, musky note that you will only ever find in a Kenyan coffee. With it, ample — even surprising — body, and a crisp, sweet and resonant finish. And all of it at the press of a button.

This one’s gonna turn a lot of heads.

Author: deCadmus

Doug Cadmus is a usability guy, writer and sometime dramatist who moved to Vermont for the coffee, where he's the Web Guy for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. When not writing, reading, or tapping out haiku-like Twitter posts, he roasts coffee in his garage.

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