Kenya Twin Rivers AA - Thika, Kiambu County
Washed process/SL28, SL34 and Ruiru Arabicas/1500-1650m
This magnificent AA lot was produced at the Twin River Estate, near the town of Thika in Kenya’s Kiambu County. The land surrounding Kiambu is blessed with deep red volcanic soils, rich in organic matter and perfect for coffee farming. Situated just North of Nairobi and to the South of the Aberdare ranges and Mt. Kenya, Twin River Estate takes its name from the rivers Thika and Chania. Thika, the larger of the two, provides the psychological boundary between the counties of Muranga and Kiambu. The river also provides a substantial amount of hydroelectric power for Kenya, as well as most of the water for coffee processing at the Twin Rivers estate.
Coffees at Twin Rivers are meticulously graded and sorted before being processed and this allied to an extended 2-3 week sun drying process contributes to the clean and complex cup character of its lots. Despite the exceptional quality of many of its coffees, Kenya is struggling with many of the same issues as the rest of the coffee-producing world. Low profits, increasing cost of production and the negative impact of climate change all threaten the traditional livelihoods of many farmers. This situation is exacerbated in Nairobi where rapid expansion and rising land costs are putting pressure on farmers to sell these longstanding and exceptional coffee producing areas to developers.
Fortunately, for the time being at least, the best Kenyan coffees reach good prices and reward the consumer with big, complex and fruity brews just like this one. Although we concede that this is no cartoon blackcurrant-bomb (the search continues!) it is nonetheless a really fine coffee that brews well across all methods. The body is full and silky, supported by notes of clotted cream and the fruit on show is a juicy mix of ripe nectarines, dates and blackcurrants. There is also a hint of darker fruit such a black cherry that is most apparent in filter brews whilst the espresso leans more toward bright candied lemon. However you make it you should find complex acidity and lots of supporting sweetness.
Despite it's brightness I think I probably enjoyed this coffee best as a flat white, where the berried notes come with a side order of sticky toffee and sweet milk chocolate so I'd be very tempted to run this as a guest espresso as well as the more obvious hand brew or batch filter. Either way you're going to love it!
Tasting notes - Nectarine, blackcurrant, date, clotted cream
Suitable for - All brewing methods