Introduction by Chris Kornman
Mount Kenya rises high above Kirinyaga county, home to countless coffee-growing smallholder farmers. The Kainamui Factory (the Kenyan term for what is called a washing station, wet mill, or beneficio elsewhere in the world) is managed by 2000 or so such farmers, organized under the New Ngariama Farmers Cooperative Society, founded in the 1970s and producer of our Kenya Kirinyaga Kainamui Factory Fully Washed Crown Jewel.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
SL-28 and SL-34 are two of the most highly regarded varieties produced by Scott Laboratories in Kenya, which no longer exists as such, but is now the National Agricultural Laboratories, a part of the larger Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization. Both varieties are Bourbon derivative cultivars, though from different lineages: SL-28 was developed from a drought-resistant variety originally cultivated in Tanganyika, a territory that makes up part of modern day Tanzania; it’s generally considered to be of the highest quality but is not very productive compared to other commercial Arabica varieties. SL-34 is a Kenyan mutation originally found near Kabete. Both of these SL variants exhibit bronze-tipped leaves on the newest growth. This particular lot, true to the exceptional grading standards in Kenya, offers very high density precisely screened to AB standards. The water activity is a little higher than average for a coffee of this moisture content.
Roast Analysis by Chris Kornman
I’m frankly not completely sure what I was thinking on the first roast (PR-0295, gray). After starting with a high gas setting, I backed off after I noticed color change, then re-upped the heat before first crack. After flatlining a little, I dropped the coffee at a nice medium-light 57 ColorTrack. It cupped well, but was a bit of a one-trick pony, the trick being a lot of very bright acids.
Roast PR-0296 (red) was a little more methodical, and despite having a similar first crack time and temperature, carried a little more momentum through first crack and I was able to back off the heat quite a bit and let the coffee roll through for almost two minutes of post crack development. I felt comfortable taking it a bit darker to a 62, where we all really enjoyed it on the cupping table.
Brew Analysis by Chris Kornman
Richard and I engaged in a semi-competitive brew-off of PR-0296, both of which produced pretty interesting results at nearly identical brewing parameters. The coffee’s a real delight, so even a less than perfect brew expressed a number of admirable attributes. I was determined to prove to Richard that I could brew a decent V60, an endeavor I undertook with limited success. Richard’s Kalita brew was a more crystalline expression of the coffees best characteristics, including tangerine, red currant, and dark chocolate. Both specs are published below, note the very high solubility; it might be worth a small water bypass if you prefer a lighter brew ratio.