Brian Beyke

Cartel Coffee Lab - Kiang'ombe Kenya - Mistobox - January 2014

Brian Beyke

The Fall and Winter months certainly brought about a lot of Kenya brews for me.  It seemed like every other coffee I had was blasting my tongue with acidity and only a moderate amount of change through the cup.  Don’t get me wrong, I was lucky enough to run across some incredibly good Kenyas though.  Some of them, Cartel’s Kiang'ombe even, had a profile fitting for this transition back into the peak months of Ethiopian crop.  Mistobox picked this selection as a ‘salutations’ to 2013, and a 'hello’ to 2014.  



Roaster: Cartel Coffee Lab

Region/Farm: Kiang'ombe

Origin: Gichugu, Kirinyaga District, Kenya

Process: Fully washed

Varieties: SL-28, SL 34, Ruiru 11

Elevation: 1,700 - 1,950m

Brew Method:

Clever | 34g © to 493g (w) | 3:35 then drop | 200 degrees

First sips had a bright acidity in the front of the mouth.  There was a really pleasing fruity sweetness.  I am pretty sure their tasting note of peach was right on, a welcomed flavor in a Kenyan coffee.  

The coffee opens up to a really nice cup that reminds me a lot of Ethiopia Kemgin that I had tried last year.  Citrus notes seem to be showing up along with a silky finish and lingering sweetness.

For some reason I am reminded of leather in the finish which interests me.  Perhaps a touch of tomato in the finish as well.  The cup is juicier as it grows cooler, reminiscent of jelly.  

It becomes a little more tea-like.  Fruitied black tea, lemon, and floral notes really jump in the end of the cup.  


These Kenya offerings that change in the middle and end unexpectedly like an Ethiopian coffee are quite fun to find.  With all the Kenyas I tried over the past few months, it’s a welcomed shift for my taste buds from being inundated with grapefruit and blood orange.  

Sweet, aromatic, long finish 

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.