Breaking all of the Rules!
Here we are breaking all of the rules again. Some years ago there was a whole love-hate thing about putting Kenyas in espresso. It was a bit of an egotistical show of coffee people’s peacock feathers.
Back in 2007, James Hoffmann used the mighty Kenya Gethumbwini (in the Japanese) World Barista Championship in 2007 and won. No one in UK coffee could believe it. It was a revelation to have coffee tasting this way (Plus having a winner!) and I wanted to recreate something similar, as it has been such a long time.
It is also interesting to be getting coffee from the Kenya/ Uganda border. Literally, we have received samples from Mount Elgon (possibly the other side, certainly Uganda) this week.
Top Trumps: Kutere Mill
Kutere factory: one of two wet mills under Kikai Cooperative society in Western Kenya.
Namwela division: Southern slopes of Mount Elgon
Altitude range: 1700-1850 meters above sea level.
Process: Fully Washed
Varietals: SL28, Ruiru 11, Batian, SL34, k7
Harvest: October to January
Roast; Hot drop for development, medium filter roast but dreamy in espresso and milk…
Aromatics: Bold and blackcurranty Body: Light Acidity: Blackcurrants, sweet citrus on cooling
Silky blackcurrants, from the off and a touch of cocoa. Simple, clean and not super bright. On cooling there is a subtle elevation of grapefruit acidity. A very easy tasty slightly developed Kenya. In batch, this is just cosy, blackcurrants, almonds, and cocoa.
This coffee can do little wrong at the moment. Starting off in the standard 25-30 second range for all drinks seems to work beautifully, some 48 hours from roast and I am not sure I could ask any more of this coffee already.
From the biggest drink that we do in-house: 9 oz, using organic whole milk. This is like warm, melted blackcurrant ice cream. In a flat white (6oz) the fruit levels increase but there is no bitterness, just a clear defined blackcurrant flavour.
Milk-based: 1:2 e.g. 17g in/34g out 25-28 seconds. Espresso: 17
Maybe I am easily pleased, or possibly the 9 months since ordering this coffee have just helped it.
A little about Vava
Vava Angwenyi is one of the world’s incredibly driven people. She is driven by equality. With a tribal background and extensive Western education. Two BSC’s and an MSC in science and Business. Vava also champions soil health and watercourse organisations amongst so many other things. Coffee is just one of the areas that she wants to see leveled up. Here is a recent video presentation she did for Re:co Here Wow right? I am in awe of this woman.
Vava Specialty Coffee is a social enterprise in Nairobi, that seeks to cause positive social and economic disruption within the coffee industry and create sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers as well as integrate more women and youth within the entire supply chain. Since its inception, Vava has worked tirelessly towards creating a strong network as well as relationships connecting like-minded partners to expand their reach.
Kutere factory is one of two wet mills under Kikai Cooperative society in Western Kenya. The factory is located in the Namwela division on the southern slopes of Mount Elgon and lying and the Kenya-Uganda border. The Coop is managed by an elected board of 9 members. Currently, the Coop has 12 permanent members of staff who are headed by a Secretary Manager. The Secretary Manager oversees the day-to-day running of the Coop under the supervision of the board. The 2 Wet mills in the coop have a membership of 2333 farmers. The farmers have also diversified into dairy farming setting up a milk cooling plant as well as biogas installation on some farms.