This is a traditional triple-washed coffee from Nyeri, Kenya, produced by smallholder farmers organized around Othaya Cooperative Society’s Kamoini Factory.
The flavor profile is classically Kenyan with bright grapefruit acidity, delicate raisin sweetness, and a black-tea-like finish.
Our roasters found the coffee’s high density and low moisture caused the beans to crave heat during the roasting process.
Our baristas dialed the coffee in on two different pour-over devices and found both delicious, and possibly trending towards higher extractions.
Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow
Talk about a Kenya! This coffee is phenomenal and kept me coming back for more. First it hits you with bright grapefruit and lime acidity; this is balanced by delicate raisin sweetness. It’s all packaged in a velvety body and topped off with a black tea finish. Each sip yields more juiciness and complexity, and it cools to a candied orange and malty milk chocolate finale.
Source Analysis by Chris Kornman
This coffee, from the Kamoini village and washing station (aka “factory”) of the same name, was a clear standout on initial cupping. The coffee is a cut above the rest, in part due to meticulous sorting and precision processing: triple washing involves a whole cherry flotation prior to pulping. After the main fermentation stage is completed, a final overnight soak in clean water is applied. These steps help to ensure the inclusion of exclusively ripe, high density coffee and even, consistent fermentation.
Kamoini factory is one of about 20 cooperative-run washing stations under the Othaya cooperative umbrella in Nyeri county, using the Ichamama river as its water source. Established in 1987, around 600 active members in the region contribute their ripe cherry to Kamoini, which is processed on site. The triple washing process involves a pre-fermentation float to sort out floaters and a post-fermentation soak that cleans the coffee and improves the consistency.
Kamoini’s position in Nyeri could hardly be better for coffee cultivation. The Aberdares Mountains erupt from central Kenya, just west of the mountain that bears the country’s name. The forested mountain range also happens to be fertile soil for coffee, among other crops, and the coffees from western Nyeri county benefit from its particular ecosystem.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
This Nyeri selection is ever so-slightly atypical for a Kenya AA. The expected high density beans are paired here with a much lower than average moisture and water activity. At 18+ the coffee is quite large, as expected, but the split is a little wider than usual (I’m used to seeing less than 5% in the top screen and usually screen 19 as a clear majority percentage). Subtle idiosyncrasies, really.
I actually love it when coffee arrives tasting this great with unusually low moisture figures. I’m often asked if I’m worried the coffee has been over-dried, but if that were the case you’d definitely taste it as a woody, hollow, shell of a coffee rather than a vibrant, juicy citrus bomb. That vibrant flavor, with such stable physical metrics, is practically guaranteed to hold up perfectly in good storage conditions, so don’t be afraid to stock up a little on this one. The only real concern will be your choice of how hot to roast it!
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Candice Madison
I know I say it every year, and I’d be surprised if I didn’t say it every time I write an analysis, but wow, do I love Kenya season!
This coffee comes in with quite challenging metrics for a Kenyan coffee, but not in the direction you might expect. I’m used to battling high density with Kenyan coffees, and a decent amount of moisture contributes to that usually. But in this case, the moisture is fairly low at around 9%, whilst the density is extremely high. The screen size of the beans being 98% about 18 also gave me something to chew on.
Looking at the metrics, and making assumptions, I thought I would start the roast off hot and fast and put the brakes on at the Maillard stage, floating through on the heat already supplied to the beans, all the way to first crack. Lol, as the kids say! It’s great to have a plan, but every person who plans knows that you have to be prepared for that plan to fail!
In anticipation of the carbohydrates being able to buffer the heat as well as bound moisture, I started the roast at 380F and 100% gas and 100% air, cutting the latter to 50% just before the turning point. To say that I abandoned any usual concerns and steamed ahead would be correct! At the turning point, I reduced the gas to 85% and made no further changes until halfway through stage 2.
The lack of changes coupled with the amount of heat I was applying to the beans is how I ended up with a roast that ended before 8 minutes! I reduced the gas to 50% during the Maillard stage, but should have reduced it further, as well as reigning in the convective heat, by cutting the airflow to 0%. Knowing that I was going faster than I would have liked, I realized that there wasn’t much I could do except see the roast through and try to be faithful to the plan, that is to achieve a similar time ratio in stage 1 and 2 and try to develop the sugars and acidity post crack without the roast becoming overly balanced.
The cups were more forgiving than the coffee was to roast! Dried figs and raisin sweetness with plum, pink grapefruit/lemonade acidity on a cushion of dark chocolate. I got more than I deserved from this roast, and wow, it really delivered as a brewed coffee. But what’s really exciting? I know there’s much more to this coffee and I can get my hands on some soon to prove it!
Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 200g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature. Read my initial post here and my updated post here.
A fine day to try roasting another fresh arrival from Kenya. Then again, when isn’t it a fine day when a fresh arrival from Kenya is in your hands? This particular factory has been on our radar for many years, and the head of QC at Royal, Patrick, was even able to visit about 10 years ago. This year it came in just as delicious as ever!
For my roast of this coffee, I decided to try something a little different. In comparison to my other recent roast of Kenyan coffee, I used a higher charge temperature (387F), and full fan speed until Turning Point. Then, I turned off the airflow until 275F / 3:15, where I introduced it again to 3 on the dial. This coffee was really cooking through the first stage of roasting as intended, so I reduced heat application to 5A at 290F / 3:35 – especially after seeing my rate of rise jump crazily due to my thermocouple probe (and therefore my nerves) getting jangled. You can see this jump on the included graph!
Just a bit later, at 325F / 4:30, I cut heat application entirely in what I felt was a pretty bold move. My rate of rise declined nicely throughout Maillard, and I reintroduced heat application to 5A at 350F / 5:20 to really pull this roast gently into first crack without losing too much momentum. Crack occurred at the classically low (for a Kenyan coffee) temperature of 381.5F at 7:45. In retrospect, I would have liked to have just a touch more momentum at the end of roast, perhaps adding heat application to 5A a little earlier at 330F would have done the trick.
This coffee had all the hallmarks of a Kenyan coffee in the cup, but it did seem a bit flattened out due to my roast. I still got abundant Bosc pear crispness, cranberry and lime acidity, and a touch of brown sugar and lime. Certainly nothing to complain about! There’s more to be had here, though. Consider giving this coffee a fair portion of post-crack development to bring out even more sweetness!
Brew Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
This week we had our new barista Colin Cahill help out with brew analysis by brewing this coffee on the Saint Anthony C70 and sharing their results with the team. It had a nice long brew time, at 4:23, with an extraction of 21.24%. In the cup we tasted notes of allspice, nutmeg, ruby red grapefruit, cranberry, lemon tea, maple syrup, and pine, with a velvety body, juicy quality, and slightly astringent finish. This was a crisp, complex cup.
I decided to brew this on the Origami Dripper with Kalita Wave filters to contrast. We rarely use the Origami on bar, but it reliably produces a delicious, clean cup, and this time was no different. It had a quicker brew time at 3:33 and an extraction of 20.39%. It had an aroma of spiced wine, with notes of cranberry sauce, mulled cider, orange peel, pear, plum juice, and a light jasmine florality, and a syrupy body. I thought this was delicious and unlike a lot of the Kenyas I’ve been drinking recently, and though I didn’t taste the C70 brew I can confidently recommend a flat-brew device for this coffee, to help bring out some of its sweetness and spice notes.