Today’s coffee comes from Mugaga Farmers Cooperative, based in Mathira, Nyeri, Kenya.
Kagumoini is a “factory” (a coffee mill) that is part of the Mugaga Farmer’s Cooperative Society, directed by Peter Macharia. It’s near Karatina town in Mathira, Nyeri with average farms in the area at 1600 meter altitude, red volcanic loam soils (typical for the area), and other crops including tea, corn, and bananas. It’s a typical cooperative in those respects, but the quality of coffee produced at this mill has been very high season after season.
Each factory has hundreds of small-hold farmers that contribute to it. These SL28 and 34 cherries were hand picked and processed with two fermentations, a post soak and multiple washing stages in between. The coffees are then immediately dried in two stages on raised beds.
As with other good coops in Nyeri, they always have the farmer separate the ripeness of the coffee cherry before submitting it for processing, removing under-ripes that create astringency in the cup. Small things like this make a huge difference in the resulting coffee.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Kagumoini AA Kenya, from Black Oak Coffee Roasters in Ukiah, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Marathina, Nyeri, Kenya
farm: Mugaga Farmers Cooperative
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1500 – 2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: SL28, SL34
process: fully washed, patio dried
The aroma coming off the Kagumoini is so incredible. Really, it’s sweet, fragrant, perfumy, floral, and fruity with notes of intense violets that flutter up out of the bag, followed closely by dark berries and honey.
Not two or three sips in and this coffee is already intensely bright, floral, and fruity. A really sweet strawberry wine flavor and mouthfeel present themselves early on; there are also notes of honey, violet aromatics, and a sprinkling of sugar.
As it cools off, more fruit flavors make their presence known. These fruit flavors are lively and pungent, to be sure, but they aren’t “bright” or “effervescent.” No, these are darker skinned, fleshy fruits; not the kind that are crisp and light when you bite into them, rather the kind that are soft, moist, and oh so juicy.
Beautiful tones of plum (especially plum), blackberry, raisin, currant, cherry, black grape, peach, apple, apricot, and raspberry pluot all completely envelope the palate while a sharp berry acidity (strawberry/raspberry) cannonballs right in the middle of the tongue then splashes over the sides and sweeping to the back of the throat.
Full body; winy mouthfeel; sharp berry acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
The Kagumoini AA Kenya, from Black Oak Coffee Roasters, is a rare, dynamic, exceptional, and singular cup of coffee. Very truthfully, in the two years that I’ve been reviewing coffees, I can’t remember another coffee being this, well, downright sexy.
This coffee is so dark, so sensual, so voluptuous, so rounded and curvy and complex, everything about is absolutely sensational at the word’s basest definition—it entices your senses with its decadent aroma, its delicious flavors, and complex texture.
Forget the wine, Romeo. Turn the lights down low, light a few candles, crank up the Barry White, brew a few cups of the Kagumoini AA Kenya, and black out your social calendar for the rest of the evening cuz, playa’—this coffee could pass for a legitimate aphrodisiac.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.