Coffee: Faith Estate
Producer/Farm: Cecilia Wanjiku, Faith Estate
Origin/Region: Kenya, Kirinyaga
Altitude: 1850 masl
Dry Fragrance: caramel, pineapple, fruity
Tasting Notes: Fruity and floral qualities predominate in this Kenyan coffee with characteristic juiciness and nectar sweetness. Flavor notes are tropical and candy-like: honeyed-pineapple, fresh cherries, hibiscus and just a hint of butterscotch and cinnamon. The mouthfeel is syrupy with a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Overall, it’s a bright, well-balanced coffee that keeps you coming back for more.
Roaster’s notes: Cecilia Wanjiku is the owner and co-founder of Faith State, a farmer cooperative located in the region of Kirinyaga in the centre of Kenya. As it happens in many other coffee producer countries, the smallholder’s farmers in Kenya, organize themselves into small coops. Faith Estate provides monthly training about growing, processing coffee and business planning to more than 30 small estate owners in the area, with the goal of improving the production of high-quality coffees. The AA nomenclature of this coffee means that the size of the beans (screen size 17/18 or 7.2 mm) are high-quality. As most of the Kenyan coffees, this one is fully washed. After a selective handpicking the beans are de-pulped and fermented for 24 hours. The beans are washed with cold water and then dried on raised beds. Note: Roaster’s notes taken from the Nomad website were edited as needed for clarity.
Brew recommendations: The hibiscus notes in this coffee can impart a touch of astringency so it’s best to brew this one under 3:15 minutes. The flavor profile was better on the Origami dripper using a fast-flow V60 filter. I did my usual protocol and a 1:16 ratio (21 g/340 g water) with a 30 second bloom. Pour in pulses: 0 secs 50 ml, 1 min 50 mls, 1:30, 2 and 2:30* and 3 mins add 60 ml to finish around 3:10 (*swirl gently after the 280 pour).
Nomad shared this brew recipe on V60: We use 15 g of medium ground coffee and 260 gr of water at a temperature of 96ºC. We pour the water in 2 times. One of 50 gr, we wait 30 seconds and then pour the rest of the water until it reaches 260 grams. The total infusion time should be between 2 and a half and 3 minutes.
Roaster: Olympia Coffee, Olympia Washington
Region: Aberdare Mountains of Kiambu County
Cooperative/Washing station: Gitwe, Kibiru
Varieties: high percentage of SL-28 and SL-34
Dry Fragrance: buttery, rich caramel sweetness, and berry fruits - intense
Tasting notes: This coffee strikes you first as tart blackberry meets caramel custard with a distinct but soft bitterness of kumquat or grapefruit pith. The caramel sweetness is nicely balanced with the tartness of blackberry and underlying bitter notes of grapefruit. Overall this a complex and vibrant coffee with pleasant lingering aftertaste and creamy mouthfeel which contrasts nicely with the tartness.
Brew recommendations: This coffee brewed well at a 1:16 ratio on Beehouse, Origami and V60. The blackberry notes were more apparent on the Beehouse and V60 while the creamy mouthfeel and sweetness were best with Origami. I don't recommend this one on Kalita.
Roaster's notes: Gitwe Cooperative's three washing stations, Karatu, Kibiru, and Karinga, are all located in the Aberdare Mountains of Kiambu County, an hour outside of Nairobi. The Cooperative is extremely small by Kenyan standards at around 800 farmers. Each farmer's geographic location determines which washing station they would contribute to. This lot comes from the Kibiru washing station and was produced as the 20th lot of the season, or harvest day. Before export, coffee is sifted through screen filters and graded by bean size. Beans with a screen size of 17 or 18 (17/64 or 18/64 of an inch) are assigned the grade AA. While bean size is only one factor in deciphering quality, we have seen a pattern that AA coffee tends to include a higher percentage of the varietals SL-28 and SL-34. This is one reason for the superior quality of this origin.