Intelligentsia

Renowned for their intense acidity and sweetness, Kenyan coffees are always a crowd favorite. This season’s Kunga Maitu exemplifies classic Kenyan coffee flavors like pink grapefruit and pomegranate with a zesty finish of pineapple and ginger.

  • SKU 232000
  • Country Kenya
  • Region within Country Embu
  • Elevation 1750 - 1900 m.a.s.l.
  • Farm / Producer Name Kianyangi / Murue FCS
  • Buyer Geoff Watts
  • Cultivar SL-28, SL-34
  • Harvest Time December 2015 - January 2016
  • Harvest Year 2016
Direct Trade 1
Single Origin 1
CitrusTropical

Origin

Kunga Maitu Kenya

Exuberant. Thrilling. Ecstatic. Brilliant.

Think about the tightest horn section you’ve ever heard—the JB’s, The Memphis Horns, Tower of Power—and how to describe the impact they have on your mood and your senses. These supernatural talents provide an exhilarating, dynamic energy and tone that transform a good song into something unforgettable. They excite and electrify. The rhythm section gets you off your feet but the horns ignite your soul.

Kenyan coffee has the best horn section in the industry, hands down. There’s a reason why most coffee cuppers will name Kenya as their favorite origin—we tend to obsess over organic fruit acids and clarity of flavor, and the best coffees from Kenya have a vibrancy that outshines all others. It is relatively easy to detect Kenyan coffees on a blind table, and even those new to specialty coffee learn to recognize their distinct character quickly, because it demands your attention. Nothing about Kenyan coffee is quiet—the volume is often at 11—and yet the great ones are so elegant and refined that they seem almost gentle despite their amplitude of taste. They manage to be intense, transparent, complex, and profoundly sweet all at once. It is very, very difficult to achieve this balance of power and grace in coffee, and the fact that Kenyan coffees accomplish it so consistently is downright amazing.

We can point to the country’s location smack on the equator and the exceptional altitudes in Central Kenya (up to 2100 meters in some regions) as some of the reason these coffees tend toward such immense character. The combination of intense sunlight and cool nights is great for coffee bean development, and encourages the accumulation of sugars and organic acids. Coffee tree type is another factor-- The SL-28 and SL-34 cultivars grown there have a great pedigree and are known to produce coffees with compelling aromatic qualities.

Processing is also an important variable when it comes to preserving or enhancing cup quality, and Kenyan traditions for post-harvest coffee handling are on point.   The unique combination of extended dry fermentation followed by brief soaking stage after washing and a prolonged, low-velocity drying period is most certainly a contributing factor to the astounding depth and intensity of flavor in these beans. Another may actually be a result of historical circumstance: Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is where most of the country’s coffees are traded, graded and prepared for export. Unlike many capital cities in coffee countries, which are often situated in lowland areas and can get extremely warm and humid, Nairobi enjoys a high altitude-- nearly 6000 feet-- and relatively stable temperatures, providing a comfortable environment for the coffee during milling and storage that helps prevent the loss of quality during the weeks or months the coffee spends between harvest and shipment.

The second 2016 edition of Kunga Maitu comes from the Gitwe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society, a celebrated producer group from Thika province in Central Kenya. The Karinga (Kah-ring- gah) washing station and its equally well-known sister Karatu both belong to the Gitwe FCS and have developed a tremendous reputation for quality over the last decade. Every year they are sought after by auction buyers and routinely produce some of the most exciting coffees from the province. This is the third consecutive year we’ve purchased coffee from Karinga, and this particular lot is another stunning example of why we think Kenya deserves a category of its own in the coffee world—it sizzles like no other, with a brilliance and swagger that make even great coffees from other countries seem a bit lackluster in comparison.

“ Whatever the reason, what matters is the outcome—breathtaking coffee that stands out in any context, unrivaled in its mouthwatering gorgeousness. ”

Espresso

Espresso

All home and commercial espresso machines.

Turkish Grind

Turkish Grind

If you need a little bit coarser grind for your espresso machine or utilize this favorite preparation in eastern Europe.

Stovetop Espresso

Stovetop Espresso

Moka pots and stovetop espresso kettles need a very fine grind.

Cone Filter - Paper

Cone Filter - Paper

Most automatic and electric brewers utilize this grind setting.

Cone Filter - Gold

Cone Filter - Gold

Automatic brewers with reusable mesh filters, or a Kone manual brewing insert.

Universal

Universal

If you're buying for a friend, or are just not sure - this is a good grind for most drip brewers.

Technivorm

Technivorm

We found this excellent automatic brewer needed a bit coarser grind than other cone filter brewers.

Vacuum Brewer

Vacuum Brewer

For those with an electric or flame-heated vacuum brewer.

Flat Bottom - Paper

Flat Bottom - Paper

Any basket-style brewer, including automatic and Kalita wave manual brewing.

Flat Bottom - Gold

Flat Bottom - Gold

For automatic brewers with basket-style reusable filters.

French Press

Hario Dripper

Manual pourover cone brewing is a simple, no frills way of brewing.

Grind Type

French Press

A classic of immersion brewing. Select this grind for perfect classical preparation.

Chemex

Chemex

The iconic Chemex, this grind provides a perfectly paired offering for the special filters made for this brewer.

Percolator

Percolator

Our coarsest grind, this also provides a good pre-ground solution for cold brew at home.

Whole Bean

Whole Bean

For those with a grinder at home, we love freshly ground coffee! We prefer burr grinders for a more even brew.