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Hailing from the Kamwangi washing station in Kirinyaga County, Kenya – this single origin packs more juicy fruit than a bottle of Ribena!
Bright, sweet, fruit. Dancing acidity. Elegance and refinement. This coffee has all this and then some. There’s a wealth of flavour to be had in Kenya, but the classic “Ooooh, that’s a Kenyan” taste means big juicy blackcurrant, and this coffee from Kamwangi has it in abundance. The Kamwangi mill is part of the New Ngariama Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) in Kirinyaga county, situated in Kenya’s central highlands, between Mount Kenya and the Aberdare mountains. We’ve visted the area a couple of times, and these mills are scattered across the landscape, each serving the local community and co-operative.
1,500 farmers supply Kamwangi, and they grow SL28, Ruiru-11 and Batian, which are three varietals pretty common to Kenya. After picking and sorting, the pulp is removed and the coffee is fermented for 24-36 hour under close shade depending on the temperature. After fermentation the coffees are washed and graded by density in washing channels. After this, they dry on raised tables for between 12 and 20 days, covered to protect them from both midday heat and the night cooling moisture.
The excellence and diligence of the processing, combined with the varietals, altitude (1,800m), and the hard work of the farmers means that this is big juicy glugger of a coffee. There’s tons and tons of blackcurrant, but a big blast of refreshing watermelon acidity too, and a lovely cola-like sweetness that mingles and develops. This is perfect for a pour-over or filter; we’d recommend Chemex, Hario or Fellow to let it really shine. It will make a cracking espresso, with some careful dialling in, but a good clean crisp filter is how we’ll be drinking it. Oh, and and iced coffee would work a treat too.