Kenya Gesha and Kenya Carbonic and Washed Process Experimental
About the Producer: Peter Mbature
We met Peter Mbature in 2013 on a sourcing trip to Embu County, Kenya. Our good friend, Tim Hill, introduced us to Peter and his small farm, Kamavindi Estate. Peter is calling his project coffees Gamba which is an acronym, (GA) is the first two letters of his deceased brother Gatuku and (MBA) is named after his late father Mbature. Peter is one of the most earnest and incredible coffee farmers we have ever met. Historically, he has only been able to produce enough coffee for his primary buying partners. When he reached out to us this year to request financing for the production and trial of a few unique processing methods, we jumped at the chance. Thanks to an incredible crop and Peter’s extreme dedication to quality and detail, none of these exquisite lots disappoint. The miniscule production of the Gesha, only 25 pounds of green, inspired us to offer a chance to taste a few of Peter’s coffees side-by-side. We think that Peter has created one of the most dynamic ranges of coffees we have tasted from Kenya, and we are thrilled to release these rare beauties out into the world.
RECIPES: Click to see how we think these coffees are best enjoyed.
About Kenya Kamavindi Gesha
The Gesha variety originated in the Gesha Gori forest in the Western part of Ethiopia, was brought to Tanzania in the 1950s, and sent to labs in Costa Rica. Eventually, it made its way to the famous farm in Panama -- Hacienda La Esmeralda -- where Gesha was rediscovered in the famous 2005 Cup of Excellence competition. Peter was given the seeds by a friend who said they were, in fact, from that very farm in Panama. This coffee is his first meaningful harvest and represents one of the first Gesha harvest to ever come out of Kenya.
Why We Love Kenya Kamavindi Gesha
This is one of the most thrilling and dramatic coffees we have ever tasted from Kenya. The aromatic profile is distinctly gesha-like with intense notes of honeydew and lily-of-the-valley. In the cup is a lustrous brightness evoking lemon candy and lime. The mouthfeel is rich and dense with a pleasant creaminess, articulated by a lime-like structure that carries through into a chillingly complex and long aftertaste. We haven’t ever had a coffee quite like this. Imagine a hypothetical mashup between the extreme explosion of florality of a top Yirgacheffe along with one of those powerhouse, phosphoric Kenyas that knock you down when you try it. It is one of those coffees that will challenge and surprise you with its ethereal loveliness in addition to the concentration and intensity of a top Kenya. It sprints all the way to the finish.
About Kenya Gamba Carbonic Washed
For this coffee, Peter used cherry from his own farm as well as from four other producers around Rungeto, Kirinyaga, and Gicherori. The freshly picked, ripe coffee cherries were stored in sealed grainpro bags for 24 hours. The coffee was then pulped and dry fermented for an additional 20 hours. After being rinsed and allowed to ferment for another 24 hours, the coffee was spread out on raised beds for drying. We are calling this a Carbonic Washed process because it is very similar to the way wine is produced in Beaujolais -- whole grapes are fermented in a carbon-dioxide rich environment. Similarly here, the fermentation in the sealed grain pro bags produces a high volume of carbon dioxide.
Why We Love Kenya Gamba Carbonic Washed
This is the first coffee in Kenya processed with this new methodology and, honestly, we were so excited that we bought it before we even tasted it. The results couldn’t be more outstanding. Peter Mbature is making a name for himself as one of the most exciting up-and-coming farmers in Kenya. In the cup, we find a deep and pleasant sweetness in addition to a floral and fruited, orange jelly-like quality. We have never quite tasted a coffee like this before from Kenya and thoroughly enjoy its unique profile.
About Kenya Gamba Carbonic Natural
Interestingly, this coffee is somewhat of a byproduct of the Carbonic Washed lot that we purchased. It comes from the same 5 farmers near Embu, Kirinyaga and Gicherori. Freshly picked, red-ripe cherries of the famous SL-28 variety were held for 24 hours in sealed grainpro bags. The majority of the coffee was then pulped, but a small portion of the harvest mistakenly passed through with the fruit intact. Peter decided to make a very small amount of natural process from those rogue cherries. He sorted the whole cherries from the fermentation tanks and put them directly onto raised beds for two-three weeks to dry to the ideal sub-10% moisture.
Why We Love Kenya Gamba Carbonic Natural
This is the first time that we have tasted a coffee processed this way from Kenya. Frankly, it may very well be the first time a Kenyan coffee has been processed in this manner, period. It hits you with its dense sweetness and generous, dark fruit aromatics. The palate remains broad, gently fruited with blackberry and dried raspberry. The coffee remains super clean throughout the experience from hot to cool. It's not a wildly fruited coffee, but is elegant, delightfully sweet, nuanced and balanced.