This coffee comes from the town of Karatina in the Mathira East district of the Nyeri region of Kenya. This coffee is processed at the Kiamabara Washing Station and has 910 contributing farmers, 345 of which are female. On average, each farmer cultivates 200 trees.
Kiamabara factory is one of five secondary processing units that form the larger Mugaga FCS Society based out of Karatina town, right in the heart of the quality Nyeri coffee growing area. The farmer small holdings that supply this factory are a handful of kilometers to the south west of Karatina itself. As is common throughout Kenya, most producers in the co-operative own a few hundred coffee trees and they deliver ripe red cherry from these trees into a central co-operative washing station, like Ndima-ini, for further processing.
Red volcanic soil with patches of loam and black cotton predominate in the area, giving the rise to a proliferation of Gravillia and indigenous trees on the plantations. Wild animals such as buffaloes, elephants, antelopes and monkeys, as well as many others can be found in the area, often finding their way into the factory grassland to graze.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Kenya Kiamabara AA, from Broom Wagon Coffee in Charleston, South Carolina. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Karatina, Nyeri, Kenya
farm: Kiamabara Factory
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Mugaga Farmers Cooperative Society
elevation: 1900 meters above sea level
cultivars: SL28, SL34
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Kenya Kiamabara is absolutely beautiful, and it erupts out of the cup like a volcano. Scents of bright apple and mixed berries coalesce with honeysuckle, rose hips, orange blossom, and red wine. The aroma brings a bit of a hotness to it, too, with traces of cinnamon and mulling spices.
Up front, the coffee is a really complex affair—sweet, sugary, fruity, and even a touch savory. A sweet, sugary combination of honeysuckle, muscavado sugar, and salted caramel envelop the tongue, and a dusting of cocoa powder sprinkles throughout the finish of every sip. There is also just a hint of a tomato acidity, which mixes with notes of brown sugar and cinnamon.
As it cools, the coffee brightens considerably, with a lively juiciness which combines with the creaminess up front to create a thick, “jammy” mouthfeel. Absolutely gorgeous and elegant flavors of red wine, tangerine, apple, pear, red grape, blackberry preserves, pomegranate, passion fruit, and cherry flood the taste buds, but the coffee still retains just a hint of its fruity/vegetal/sugary complexity with a beautiful strawberry rhubarb pie flavor.
A really tremendous coffee from Broomwagon Coffee; their Kenya Kiamabara AA blew me away. Loads of intense, bright, lively, sweet flavors that dazzled the taste buds over the course of the entire cup. The coffee was complex, layered, and ran deep.
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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.