Tasting: Kenya favorites

growing, harvesting, processing, cupping, purchasing

Postby SL28ave on Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:43 pm

I'll send you another bag of Mamuto, Aaron.

Y'all should see people's reaction when I say I taste "blood" in some wicked good coffees :twisted:. And you don't see "beef" or "salmon sashimi" written on the bag for much the same reason.... but some version of "tomato" should probably be on the bag.
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Postby aaronblanco on Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:55 pm

let me also add that when i cupped the mamuto next to that tembo (the one we did the cupping on from the barista jam) it was a knock down drag out death match with one wicked punch after another. the tembo is very citric and honeyed. the mamuto is very tomatoey and honeyed. it was like getting rocked from both ends of the spectrum.
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Postby SL28ave on Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:44 pm

There is a slight touch of blueberry or precursors of blueberry in Mamuto, too. Fermentation taken to the perfect point? An interesting point, at least. I'm happy they didn't take it any further.
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Postby SL28ave on Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:51 am

A small lot of 2007 Mamuto Farm, Kirinyaga is showing great promise, 90 pts (on my personal "Kenya scale" :? ). It has low acid, huge viscous weight, bitterish birch, and very deep, pure and dark blackberry. It doesn't have the florals and packed citrus that the 2006 masterpiece had... will cup again next week... 'tis the season to be jolly! :D :D
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Postby SL28ave on Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:10 am

Tasting a different roast of the 2007 Mamuto Farm again, brewed at two different strenghts on a Technivorm.

Medium-low sweetness and acidity. Over-ripe grape skins and stems. Scorched earth. An awesome firmness interspersed with generous oiliness. A touch of Jim Schulman style? :lol: :D
A tasty coffee. 87 pts.
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Postby SL28ave on Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:01 pm

Amazing, the 2007 Mamuto that I describe above was from the unmilled and unsorted AB lot. It went from an 87 bag AB lot to a 10 bag AA lot when the milling and sorting were finished. Any bitterness that was bugging me before is finished and won't be in the flavor finish.

Going from 87 to 10 bags is a huge drop, and I don't think it's normal for this to happen.
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Re: TN: kenya favorites

Postby SL28ave on Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:27 am

A note on nomenclature:

With all my Kenyan notes previous to now I named the vintage as the year we receive the coffee instead of the year the coffee was harvested. For example, I called the 2006 harvest of Mamuto, "2007". I think this was a mistake.

So when I speak of "2007" Kenyans from here forward they will be Kenyans that were HARVESTED in 2007, that we're only beginning to cup now. The same for other Kenyan vintages.

We should discuss if anyone disagrees.
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Re: TN: kenya favorites

Postby Christopher Schooley on Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:20 am

I hate to jab a long dead horse, but this kind of reflects what some of my concerns are with using the term [i]seasonal[i] when discussng coffee.
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Re: TN: kenya favorites

Postby SL28ave on Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:23 pm

2007 Mamuto
Gobs of body in oil melt in the mouth. Blackberry and bright Raspberry. A touch of moist earth. 95pts on the mighty Kenya scale.

Christopher Schooley wrote:I hate to jab a long dead horse, but this kind of reflects what some of my concerns are with using the term [i]seasonal[i] when discussng coffee.


No problem here with bringing that dead horse back to life in its seasonal thread. Using the harvest year to define vintages is prettily convenient, and I'd vote it into law.
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Re: Tasting: Kenya favorites

Postby SL28ave on Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:52 am

I've been drinking Counter Culture's Gaturiri and Thunguri. Can I get some info on them?

I think they're tending to roast the Thunguri slightly lighter than the Gaturiri (I didn't do any real analyisis). Brewed drip, the Thunguri is lacking the green beam that Kenyan coffees sometimes attack the back sides of my palate with, and, thus, Thunguri is very smooth. There are non-blue, delicate berry flavors that are just awesome. Thunguri is from Rumukia, so maybe there is a touch of Cherry Jolly Rancher :).

The Gaturiru is really good too, but my descriptors are hiding in my desk somewhere.

The next one on my list to try is Terroir's Ndiara Estate which will debut next week.
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Re: Tasting: Kenya favorites

Postby Peter G on Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:18 am

Hey Peter!

We're roasting both Gaturiri and Thunguri to agtron 62. I agree that Gaturiri tastes a bit darker; I find more dark fruit/savory notes in it than the fresher, brighter notes of the Thunguri.

Both of these lots were purchased in cooperation with Intelligentsia and Dorman (so you can buy these same coffees from Intelly!); the Thunguri was purchased directly through the "second window", bypassing the auction. I agree that Thunguri is the superior of the two, so did Geoff, we paid a handsome price for this awesome coffee (5.07/lb FOB). It was certainly one of the top 3 coffees I tasted this year from Kenya. Rumukia seems to be producing some awesome coffees lately...and the Thunguri factory is a thoroughbred for sure. Anyway, since you asked for more info, here's what I wrote to the CCC staff when we cupped the coffee:

A few years ago, a new law was passed in Kenya allowing farmers to sell their coffee directly to buyers, rather than having to tender their coffee to the auction as was the law for many years. This “second window” presented a new opportunity to farmers, and laid the groundwork for more direct commercial relationships with roasters. It was a new day in the Kenyan coffee trade! Farmers reacted with the characteristic mixture of excitement and nervousness- anything new, however exciting, can be intimidating. For the first few years, very little coffee was sold through the “second window”. The farmers who had been getting great prices at the auction for the most part decided to wait and see how everything turned out. Farmers have, over the years, gotten used to the idea, and have slowly started to provide us with samples of coffees before bringing them to the auction, giving us the option of circumventing the auction.

All this is by way of introducing our very first second window purchases this year!! While cupping the coffees from this year’s harvest, we were able to buy a number of coffees directly from the Ndaroini, Kangocho, Tegu, and Thunguri washing stations. Two lots in particular, those from Thunguri and Ndaroini, were beyond spectacular, standing head and shoulders above the rest. In standing with our model of rewarding awesome quality with awesome prices, we offered the co-ops prices commensurate with the quality of these lots. We also took the additional step of vacuum-packing the coffees in Kenya to preserve their delicate quality. All this comes together to bring you the new, microlot-level Kenyans for this year.

Thunguri, the first of these special Kenyan microlots we offer this year, is bursting with complex notes of tropical fruit, along with more traditional Kenyan notes of plum and blackcurrant. Savory takes the backseat here to sparkling acidity and clean finish, and a pleasing, juicy body. Lovers of Kenyan sunshine will fall head over heels for this coffee. I have. It’s no surprise; Thunguri is right in the magic zone of Kenyan coffee- dead south of Nyeri town and west of Karatina town. Perfect Kenyan coffee from the heart of Grand-Cru Kenya country.


Glad you loved the coffee, Peter.

Best always,

Peter (G)
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Re: Tasting: Kenya favorites

Postby Peter G on Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:20 pm

It occurs to me that you might be asking for harvest-type information, Peter.

These coffees would have been harvested in January; we were first sampled them in early March.
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Re: Tasting: Kenya favorites

Postby SL28ave on Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:24 pm

It's all good info; thanks so much! January is a touch later than I was guessing.
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Re: Tasting: Kenya favorites

Postby SL28ave on Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:08 am

From what I can gather from Kenya's Meteorlogical Department, there were prolonged dry spells in Central Province in the season leading into January.
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Re: Tasting: Kenya favorites

Postby SL28ave on Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:28 pm

Current Ndiara and Ndaroini have nice, sweet middles.
(paper filter drip-brewed)
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