The Kenya Thambana Kiungu AA is this fortnight's Fresh Crop coffee feature. Tom from Padre Coffee Brunswick East shares his recipes for both filter and espresso below for this fortnight's Fresh Crop Exclusive!
Kenya feel it? Kenyan coffees are a staff favourite around the Brunswick East store, not least because of the opportunities afforded for the liberal use of puns. Whether it’s a tiny and adorable peaberry from the Kirinyaga region or the much larger AA bean-like we have here, you can expect a well-balanced, clean, and crisp cup.
Embu County is located nearly bang on the equator which, coupled with the 1700 metres of altitude, volcanic soil of Mount Kenya and a perfect amount of rain, allows the 800 or so farmers who deliver to the Thambana Farmers Co-operative Society to take full advantage of a long and slow-growing period that is crucial for perfectly ripe cherries of the highest quality.
Workers handpicking coffee cherries at Thambana Farmers Cooperative Society's Kiungu Factory in Embu county.
African coffees hold a special place in my heart. When I was beginning to delve into the world of specialty coffee, I encountered an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe that really opened my eyes to the sensory possibilities I could gain from coffee similar to those I had grown to expect from wine. Since then, the sheer number of fantastic coffees I’ve tried from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania has cemented the region as a personal favourite.
Kenya itself has captured my imagination with its lush and dramatic landscapes, storied history, and abundance of birdlife (200 more than Australia!). Even though they are one of the most recognised and respected coffee-producing nations in the world, the majority of the population drink tea as their drink of choice and so all of that fantastic coffee is exported around the world. How lucky are we!
Being an AA coffee, the highest quality in the rigorous Kenyan grading system, I was expecting great things from this coffee, and boy was I not disappointed. The first thing that hit me was the aroma of green tea and jasmine and after taking the first sip I was slapped by an intense burst of tart citrusy acidity which smoothed out to a sweet caramelly finish.
This is a coffee I would brew on a lazy summer's morning, its tea-like aromatics and zippy acidity taking me back to the hot summers of the 90s where I would drink hot tea with my extended family on the verandah looking out over the fruit trees. Take me back!
- 16g of coffee, ground at 27 clicks on the Commandante C40 or 7 on an EK43
250ml water at 96 degrees2 cup V60 dripper
- Gooseneck kettle with temperature control
- V60 papers, I’ve used the Cafec light roast papers. The standard Hario papers work equally as well, your drawdown will just be slightly quicker.
- Timer, anything works here, phone/scales/ekg kettle
- Server or carafe for brewing into
- Stirrer, could be a teaspoon or anything to cause a bit of agitation.
- Your favourite mug
- Anticipation for some delicious coffee
Set your kettle to 96 degrees, making sure there’s enough water inside to complete the brew!
While the water is heating, weigh out and grind your coffee.
Fold the filter paper along the seam and place it in the dripper. Set your dripper on top of the server and place the whole setup on the scales.
Once the water has boiled, rinse out the filter paper to remove any unwanted papery taste as well as preheating the server and dripper (if you’re using a ceramic or metal cone).
Don’t forget to discard the water from the server, otherwise you’ll dilute your delicious coffee. I like to pour it into your mug or cup to preheat that as well
Add the coffee to the dripper, gently shaking it to flatten out the bed.
Tare off your scales and you are ready to go!
Start your timer and pour 50g of water, using a gentle spiral motion making sure you wet all the coffee in the bed. Give the dripper a little shake to make sure any coffee underneath is wet also. This process allows the coffee to give off any gas trapped inside and sets the stage for an even extraction.
After 30 seconds pour 100g of water to a total of 150g, using the same gentle motion as you did during the bloom. This should take you to roughly 50 seconds.
Once the timer hits one minute, pour the last 100g of water.
At around 1 minute 30 or once the coffee has drawn down slightly, give the water a couple of gentle stirs making sure not to tear the filter. Gently swirl the dripper to make sure any wayward coffee grounds are not sitting up on the sides of the filter.
Wait and enjoy the wonderful aromas while your coffee draws down, this should take anywhere between 2 minutes 30 and 3 minutes depending on your choice of filter.
Remove the dripper from the server and decant the coffee into your mug. I like to wait a bit for the coffee to cool slightly and open up to experience the flavours at their best.
Domestic espresso recipe (using a Breville Bambino)
- Dose: 22g
- Yield: 36g
- Time: 34secs
- Ratio: 1:1.6
On the Slayer LP we use 22g of coffee and aim for a yield of 38g, however your machine and set up will determine what dose (and therefore, yield) you should aim for. Some domestic machines have 20-22g baskets, however some will only be able to hold 16-18g. Use the ratio to adjust the espresso recipe.