Bean: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Washed, Kambiri, Kenya.
Shop: Trakteren Koffie en Thee, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Trakteren Koffie – Kenya Kambiri: Background information.
Today’s review is about the Trakteren Koffie Kenya Kambiri. The coffee comes from the Gichugu area, an area that is located at approximately 1600m above sea-level in the highlands of Kenya. One of the beans, the SL28, is a bourbon hybrid that is mostly found in Kenya. This hybrid was developed in the 1930’s by Scottish researchers. Although this bean is fairly susceptible to leaf-rust and does not have a high yield, it is still an appreciated variety due to the high cup-quality.
Just like the SL 28, the SL34 is also a Hybrid bean with great cup quality. The Ruiru 11, a hybrid as well, was developed in the ’70s and released in 1986. The initial tests were done with the Hibrido de Timor (highly resistant to Coffee Leaf Rust) and Rume Sudan (resistant to berry disease) bean. As this did not work out very well, the scientists later added SL28 and SL34 characteristics to get a much better result.
Trakteren Koffie – Kenya Kambiri: Opening the package.
Trakteren koffie has a very distinct package with a black and green logo. The bag comes without a zip-lock but does have a degassing valve. When opening the package the I notice that the clean roasted beans mostly have the same color which is always a good thing. The scent that comes off of the beans is a fragrant black tea scent with a fruity undertone. As I chew on one of the beans I immediately know this is a high quality coffee. Not only do I get a clear taste of black tea, but the tomato undertone is also present. Lets grind this coffee and start brewing. I will review this bean on the Hario and Aeropress.
Trakteren Koffie – Kenya Kambiri: The tasting on Hario
When I brewed the Kenya Kambiri on the Hario, using a 15gr/220ml method on 92 degrees Celsius, the scent that came off of the brew was that of a very faint honey and toffee. The taste, however, was totally different. A fruity sweet undertone made me think of dark fruits like black currant and the flavour of black tea was definitely there as well. As the flavour progressed a beautiful tomato flavour appeared and slowly took over the pallet entirely. Carrying a medium body and wine like acidity, the coffee tasted very nice but something told me that there was more to this coffee.
I next brewed the coffee on 18gr/280ml using a temperature of 88 degrees Celsius. It made a change for the better as the scent of the brew now carried black tea and seaweed. At first the scent was a bit strong, but it became pleasant as the black currant eventually peeked around the corner. When lingering above the brew, the soft honey could still be perceived. As I took a sip of the coffee the black tea, black currant and tomato all came together, delivering a balanced rounded cup of coffee.
Trakteren Koffie – Kenya Kambiri: The tasting on the Aeropress
As suggested by Edward from Trakteren Koffie, I tried this brew on the Aeropress using Edwards 37.5gr/220ml at 85 degrees Celsius method. I poured the water on the coffee grounds and the now familiar black currant and black tea scent appeared on my nose. I stirred the grounds and the fruity scent became a little stronger, making me crave this brew even more. After brewing I noticed the light obscured colour and the beautiful tea and fruit tones that came off of the brew. It reminded me of black currant jam with a hint of black raspberry.
I take a sip and the flavour of black currant jam is accompanied with the Phosphoric acidity that is clearly there. Yummy, this is just great! The difference with the Hario is definitely the acidity and the light soft mouthfeel that I get while swirling the coffee in my mouth. The tomato flavour keeps surprising me over and over; the sweet flavour pushes away the fruitiness and mingles beautifully with the black tea.
Trakteren Koffie – Kenya Kambiri: The verdict.
This Trakteren Koffie Kenya Kambiri was a treat to review since this coffee clearly showed what a change in brewing methods can do to a coffee. Brewing this coffee on a low dosage on the Hario V60 is a waste of beans. The true flavours and scents are tucked away and you will not be able to enjoy this coffee to it’s fullest potential. When adding more coffee grounds the beautiful flavours of black tea, black currant and raspberry come forth much better. Can you discover the seaweed scent that comes off the brew when brewing this coffee on the Hario V60? While you might not enjoy that scent at first, it does complement the tomato flavour later on. Trakteren did a great job on this coffee! If you like the black tea/black currant combination and a tomato finish, this is definitely your coffee to try!