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New Coffees May 2019

Friday 24th May 2019

New Coffees May 2019

by Tom Wilkinson

New Single Estate Coffees May 2019


1.Rwanda Kinini Washing Station

Bourbon Arabica, washed process, 1800m+

Cranberry, muscovado sugar, black tea, lemon

R&B Import/Export and Kinini coffee was founded by Jacquie Turner in 2012 and has grown to include over 600 small producers, often female, in Rulindo district, Northern Province. This is now Kinini’s third full year of harvest and their coffee is improving year-on-year in quality and consistency. Rwanda depends heavily on coffee to help communities move on from what has been an exceptionally troubling recent history and this co-op has already brought huge benefits to the local area.

Though not as heavy or syrupy as some Rwandan coffees, this lot from Kinini is juicy, balanced and characterful. The acidity is tart and juicy, reminiscent of red berries and lemon. This is well-tempered by plenty of dark, complex and almost smoky sweetness. Think black treacle or muscovado sugar rather than white sugar or caramel. Notes of black tea add structure to this distinctive and delicious coffee which we have predominantly profiled for filter and other non-espresso brewing methods.

Recommended for – Filter, French press

2.Nicaragua Apanas

Red Catuai, Bourbon and Caturra Arabicas, washed process, 1100-1500m

Red Apple, vanilla, milk chocolate, cane sugar

This community lot originates from 7 small producers based around El Valle de Apanas, a wetland area that contains a stunning artificial lake. The large Apanas lake, which was created in 1964, has been hugely beneficial to the hundreds of families that live around it, shaping a habitat that supports a diverse range of agricultural activities beyond coffee cultivation.

Though not perhaps the most complex of coffees, we were moved to purchase the Apanas blend by it’s sheer drinkability and versatility. It’s rare that we are able to roast a coffee at just one profile and find that it brews both juicy, balanced filter coffee and sweet and plump espresso. Brewed as filter and cafetière I enjoyed the soft red apple acidity, subtle honey and vanilla-like florals and full-body. As an espresso this coffee is bright and sweet with a toffee-apple character and rounded, full body.

Recommended for - All brewing methods

3.Kenya Kamundu Estate

SL34, Natural process, 1950m

Blackcurrant compote, orange marmalade, wine gums, molasses

I’m incredibly excited to finally be able to share this exceptional and rare coffee after first cupping it over a month ago. Kenya has an unparalleled reputation for coffee quality and its best examples reach high prices for their distinct berry fruit notes and high levels of sweetness and complex acidity. Kiambu county is a region located just outside Nairobi that has a long history of coffee cultivation and is famous for its large estates that were originally built by British colonists in the early 20th century. These were sold to local Kenyans after decolonisation and despite encroachment from the encroaching urban sprawl of rapidly developing Nairobi, surviving estates benefit from a legacy of generations of coffee production.

Kenyan coffee is not in its-self particularly rare, but it is the choice of processing method that makes this example stand out. Typically washed to emphasise the fine acidity and exceptional clarity of its local varietals, this coffee is instead naturally dried over a period of 6 long weeks and the result is stunning. All of the usual upfront berry fruit character is present here, but with additional sweetness and softness from the long contact time between bean and drying fruit. This builds extraordinary levels of syrupy, molasses like notes that layer with the orange and blackcurrant acidity to create a really complex and moreish cup. Throw in a hint of sugary perfume reminiscent of red wine gums and you’ve got a really big, jammy and fun cup of coffee - I even enjoyed it over ice which is really saying something considering my lifelong aversion to cold brew!

Suitable for - All brewing methods including iced filter

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