On Thursday, October 25th, roughly 80 people gathered together in Chicago at Intelligentsia’s 1871 Coffee Bar for the 6th in a soon-to-be-concluded series of Sprudge.com public cupping parties. Together we tasted 35 Kenyan coffees from 22 distinct roasters, including entries from as far away as Melbourne, London, and Copenhagen. The event itself was smooth and easy, expertly administered by Intelligentsia’s gracious staff, and presided over with aplomb by Intelligentsia co-owner Geoff Watts, who spoke to the crowd about his experiences in Kenya and why Kenyan coffees are so uniquely delicious.

Quoth Mr. Watts: “What we’re doing here today is really special. These are probably some of the best Kenyan coffees produced in the 2012 harvest season, and so this is really a treat. I’ve cupped hundreds of Kenyan coffees in a room before, but never ones that have been pre-selected by top roasters. What an amazing opportunity.

It was every bit as much of a treat to put this event together with our friends and partners at Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. But ooh, damn, those coffees — this was perhaps our most delicious cupping yet, with a couple of real stunners on the table that we’re *still* thinking about 5 days later.

Here’s a complete list of the coffees served at Kenya Dig It?, arranged in “wine list” style with easy buying links (when available) for those who want to play along at home. Take it from us, you’d do well to order a few of these coffees, and it was our pleasure and honor to be able to table contributions from a who’s-who of the best roasters in the world.

Plus three additional Dormans samples (not pictured above):

West Coast:

Verve Coffee Roasters, Santa Cruz – Karie

Sightglass Coffee Roasters, San Francisco – Kiawamururu AB, Kanguru AA

Handsome Coffee Roasters, Los Angeles – Kiawamururu

Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters, Victoria, BC – Gatomboya AB Nyeri

Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Portland  – Gaturiri

Caffe Ladro, Seattle – Gaturiri, Kiawamururu

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Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, Sacramento – Iyego Cooperative AA Plus

Kuma Coffee, Seattle – Karogoto

East Coast:

Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters, Atlanta – Kiambara AA

Toby’s Estate, Brooklyn – Yara Estate

Gimme! Coffee, Ithaca, NY – Gatomboya

Counter Culture Coffee Roasters, Durham, NC – Thiriku, Ndaroini Peaberry

Ceremony Coffee Roasters, Annapolis, MD – Kaimbu Ruiru

New Harvest Coffee Roasters, Pawtucket, RI – AA Gichi Estate

Middle West:

Kickapoo Coffee, Viroqua, WI – Riabai Peaberry, Kangocho Peaberry

Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters, Kansas City, MO – Thiriku Top Auction Lot

Greenway Coffee, Houston – Kamacharia Cooperative, Kiambaa Cooperative

Ipsento, Chicago – Josra AA+


5 Senses Coffee, Melbourne – French Mission Washed

Coffee Collective, Copenhagen – Kieni Kenya Nieri

Square Mile Coffee Roasters, London – Kangocho Peaberry

In addition to these fine coffees, it was our privilege to cup no fewer than 9 Kenyan offerings from our hosts at Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. Many of these coffees were obtained from Dormans and roasted special for our event.

Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea, Chicago – Gichathaini, Karatina Peaberry, Kangocho, Embu AA, Kirinyaga AA, Kirinyaga AB Plus, Irinyaga AB Top, Western Region AA, Nyeri AA

We’re currently planning one last cupping party for 2012, after which we’ll be taking a break from this format to throw other kinds of parties with Sprudge readers around the world. Stay tuned for the announcement of our final cupping party for 2012 in the coming weeks, and thanks again to Intelligentsia for making Kenya Dig It? a great big delicious success.

You can relive our cupping party realness by clicking on the links below:

Portland: The intimacy and riotous deliciousness of Rwandalust, sponsored by Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Seattle: The controlled chaos and bonhomie of Colombiana, hosted by Milstead & Co. and sponsored by La Marzocco USA.

Los Angeles: A jaw-dropping roaster roster from around the world at International Delight, hosted by Handsome Coffee Roasters and sponsored by Visions Espresso and Wilbur Curtis Co.

San Francisco: The collaborative glory and stunning setting of Cupping California, hosted by Blue Bottle Coffee Roasters and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, sponsored by notNeutral and Sweet Maria’s.

Minneapolis: A personal favorite among Sprudge staff, Hüsker Brew was an absurdly delicious evening of coffees and local foodstuffs hosted by Cafe Imports, with support from Dogwood Coffee Company.

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