The Muranga region is home to a mix of smallholders and block holders with small to medium farms. The farmers are organized in Cooperative Societies that act as umbrella organizations for the factories (wet mills).
At the wet mill, the coffee goes through several stages of quality enhancement. First the farmers hand sort for un-ripe and over-ripe cherries before they go into the pulping machine to remove the skin and pulp. In the pulper, the coffees are graded by density into 3 grades. The pulped coffee is then fermented for 24–36 hour in the shade. After fermentation the coffees are washed and graded once again by density in the washing channels. Many of the farmers are surrounded by several wet mills and as members of the cooperative society they are free to choose where they deliver their cherries.
Due to the traditional auction system in Kenya, quality is rewarded with higher prices, so the factories with superior reputations attract more farmers by producing the coffee that gets the highest prices and thus pays back higher rates to the farmers
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Kenya Kirangano, from Supersonic Coffee in Berkeley, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Muranga, Kenya
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Iyego Farmers Cooperative
elevation: 1700 – 1900 meters above sea level
cultivars: SL28, SL34
process: fully wahed, raised bed dried
method: Sowden Softbrew
grind: 26, Preciso
coffee: 32 g
water: 520 mL
The aroma of the Kenya Kirangano is unreal; it’s so bright, so fragrant, so beautifully perfumed with scents of rose hips, tropical fruits, orange blossom, and honeysuckle.
Taking my first few sips of the cup immediately post-brew, I’m struck by how bright, lively, and tart this coffee is right out of the gate. This coffee is sparkling and effervescent—like a sparkling wine—and it’s characterized by tangy, tart, zesty, and juicy tropical fruits. There is a very light honey nuance up front, but my taste buds are more taken with the incredible flavors of passion fruit and grapefruit (I say “taken” but, really, the intensity of the coffee isn’t leaving them much other choice).
As the coffee cools off, it really settles into itself, becoming much more “bright, zesty, tangy, tart, and lively” and more sweet, subdued, mellow, and balanced. Whether the sweet honey component becomes more intense or the lively tropical fruits become less intense, this coffee’s texture goes from a tropical fruit juice to something more like a mead. Coupled with the flutter of rose petals blooming in the second half of the cup and the presence of cherry, clementine, red grape, black plum, and peach, the coffee takes on a really elegant and rounded silky finish.
Medium body; silky mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
Supersonic Coffee’s Kenya Kirangano is the epitome of coffee elegance. Its flavors are sharp, tart, and pointed and its profile is sparkling and effervescent, but it has such soft, supple, rounded edges.
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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.