Along the southern slopes of Mount Kenya, a cooperative society named Rung’eto runs three factories: Kii, Karimikui, and Kiangoi. These three factories are known across the world as being stellar producers of some of the best coffees coming out of any country, not just Kenya.
Rung’eto was created in 1953 and has given us these three high yield factories. Its entire production rivals some coops that have many more factories, and they recently hired a third party organization to help them increase the yield three fold over the next few years.
The Rung’eto Farmers Cooperative Society is a clear example of excellence.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Kenya Kiamabara Peaberry, from Barefoot Coffee Roasters in San Jose, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Kiamabara, Kenya
farm: Kii Factory
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Rung’eto Farmers Cooperative
elevation: 1900 meters above sea level
The aroma of the Kenya Kiamabara Peaberry is absolutely beautiful, and it erupts out of the cup like a volcano—very aggressive beauty. Scents of bright apple and mixed berries mix with honeysuckle, rose hips, orange blossom, and red wine. The aroma brings a bit of a hotness to it, too, with traces of cinnamon and mulling spices that sting the nostrils and tickle the tip of the nose.
From the very first sip of the coffee immediately post-brew, I absolutely adore it. Up front, the coffee is a really complex affair—sweet, sugary, fruity, and even a touch savory. A sweet, sugary combination of honeysuckle, muscavado sugar, and salted caramel envelop the tongue, and a dusting of cocoa powder sprinkles throughout the finish of every sip. There is also just a hint of a tomato acidity, which mixes with notes of brown sugar and cinnamon.
As it cools, the coffee brightens considerably, with a lively juiciness which combines with the creaminess up front to create a thick, “jammy” mouthfeel. Absolutely gorgeous and elegant flavors of red wine, apple, pear, red grape, blackberry preserves, pomegranate, passion fruit, and cherry flood the taste buds, but the coffee still retains just a hint of its fruity/vegetal/sugary complexity with a beautiful strawberry rhubarb pie flavor.
Full body; jammy mouthfeel; winy acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
As soon as I tore open the packaging of Barefoot Coffee Roasters’s Kenya Kiamabara Peaberry, I had a suspicion that it was going to be a really great coffee. My intuitions were bang on.
In a year of really incredible Kenyan coffees, the Kiamabara Peaberry is one of the finest I’ve had the pleasure to sip.
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