Brian Beyke

Ruby Coffee Roasters - Kenya Kamwangi Peaberry

Brian Beyke

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Ruby Coffee Roasters, taking 2014 by storm.  I have visited several of Jared’s offerings so far, and every one has been outstanding.  When I ordered one of his shirts last month he dropped me a sample of some of this peaberry.  The thing about Ruby Coffee is that you get insanely fresh, seasonal, and clean tasting coffees.  As a recap, just the taste of the coffees I’ve tried since his opening this year has put Ruby into my top 5 roasters list.  The fresh factor is something I’m really loving, as you get prime crop, and deliciously clean roasts.  The only downside, as we see today, is this offering is no longer available to you, which is a shame because it is also one of the highlight coffees I’ve had all year.  Don’t be sad, brothers and sisters, we can still reminisce together.  Let’s cry together over a recap of Kenya Kamwangi Peaberry.

Processed by the classic Kenya wet-processing method: fruit is removed before drying using traditional ferment-and-wash methods and the beans are sun-dried. This sample consists entirely of peaberries, a kind of bean that results when the coffee fruit develops only a single, oval bean rather than the usual pair of flat-sided beans. Peaberries produce a somewhat different (often better) cup than normal beans from the same crop, from which they may or may not be separated during grading.

 

Details:

Roaster: Ruby Coffee Roasters

Region: Kirinyaga, Kenya

Farm: Kamwangi Factory

Process: Washed

Varietal: Primarily SL28 cultivar

Elevation: 1,850m

 

Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 2:10 total time | 199 degrees | 1.40 TDS | 20.70% Ext.

Citrus aromas along with nods of floral.

Dang. Sweetly crisp, bright, juicy with an immensely syrupy finish, literally like honey dropping down my throat.

Cranberry, macerated cherries, apple, peach, grapefruit on the front, an enormously buttery middle body, splashy and sweet, toast and hints of clove in the finish.  The sips grow deeper and deeper, with complex and interesting nods to darker fruits (thinking fig, currant, and date) with a slightly malty and roasty finish that would make one think they are indulging in an Imperial stout.  Rich, exotic, flavor saturated, comfortably full body.

However, the profile doesn’t stay like that for long.  It starts to grow more and more juicy, and the acidity a bit more lively (think San Pellegrino or La Croix) now giving kicks to chocolate, cinnamon, molasses and currant, with just the right amount of bourbon barrel age afterthoughts to please a connoisseur of any beverage world.

The furthest moments of the cup also draw upon more palpable maple syrup and honey sweetness, almost like a Sugar Daddy, with floral notes, too, present in the finish.   

An absolutely head turner from beginning to end.

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Brew Method:

Chemex | 30g © to 480g (w) | 3:30 total time | 200 degrees |1.33 TDS | 19.70% Ext.

Brewing aroma of citrus, spice, and currant.  Nose is a bit herbaceous.

First sips are sweet, balanced, a bit herbal, dark chocolate, and citrusy with lime, orange, and grapefruit.  It has a lighter juiciness, but still develops a clean, syrupy finish.  Crisp on the front with lighter fruit notes of apple and green grape.

More pops of fruit start to leak out.  The body gets a bit more buttery, still with a bit of herbaceousness, as currant, plum, raisin, apricot start to draw out.  

The aroma is sweeter, like the top of a creme brûlée. 

It’s rich, but very slick and clean as it moves around the mouth.  Not sure if it is the method or the TDS, but this offering doesn’t carry that same liquor finish, instead it is a bit woody and a bit nutty. I suppose some would argue that IS descriptive of some liquors, but sill doesn’t carry that bourbon soaked flavor the V60 carried.

Now the aroma is full of grapefruit.

The acidity stays soft in the cup, a bit tart but nicely crisp, with more dried fruits, still clean and articulate, splashy, juicy and enjoyable with a soft lingering finish, and long finish that resonates a bit darker.  (Wood, chocolate, nuts)

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Brew Method:

Kalita Wave | 34g © to 554g (w) | 3:35 total time | 200 degrees | 1.33 TDS | 20.10% Ext.

Insanely clean on the front end- grape, macerated cherry, date and raisin with a pleasing brightness and candied orange notes.  Juicy cranberry and condensed sweetness out of the gate, with a finish of honey and a touch of spice.

Still keeps with those splashy notes amidst a buttery body, but filled with perfumed sweetness, apricot and peach and seemingly tons of grape and thoughts of floral whiffs in the finish.  The acidity spot is sweet, but also a bit tart now, almost a lemon-pomegranate.

I’m not finding that stoutness I did in the V60, but it does have slight malt notes in the finish.  Instead, it remains tickled with a complexity of delicious dried fruits, beautiful currant, tangerine, grapefruit, grape, apple, and what seems like all the best fruit juices imaginable.  Clean, sweet, honey dipped, vanilla creaminess and lingering.

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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 17g © to 240g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 200 degrees | 1.40 TDS | 20.89% Ext. (Immersion mode)

Brewing aroma had moments of floral, but mainly sat around hay and spice.

Diving in is dense right away.  It carries a rich body, bright grapefruit and orange notes, with dried fruit sweetness and spice in the finish.  

Upon cooling, nice clarity is revealed in the cup.  Still carrying dried fruits of prune, date, fig, raisin but now adds notes of plum, apricot, currant, apple and pomegranate, and a bit more cocoa in the finish.  Notes of florals also seem to come in, as well as some honey sweetness in the end of the sips.  It’s a bit dry in the end, a little reminiscent of a cider and more clove coming out the further it cools.

Actually, I wished I saved more of this cup.  It took all cup to get here, but the final moments show you the sweetest spots of the cup with floral infused honey, a mix of stone fruit and dried fruits, all with that barrel soaked flavor coming back around and lingering on after your sips are finished.

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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 16.9g © to 241g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 200 degrees | 1.38 TDS | 20.80% Ext. (Immersion mode)

Dry aroma of green apple.

A sweetness in the front of the cup is light, reminiscent of green apple and watermelon jolly ranchers, with lime as well.  Juicy, incredibly clean, cherry, orange, honey, and spice in the finish, A bit reminiscent of a hard cider.

Opening up you find really great and perfumed sweetness. Grape, apple, pear and cherry, apricot, currant, plum and  florals coming through. The apple, apricot and plum the most prominent here, with a juicy body, silky clean mouthfeel, and really crisp and drinkable finish.  The richness never gets in the way, just a nice dense saturation of clean and sweet fruits with a honey and floral finish, with lingering notes of bourbon age to it and the long finish leaves trails of clove cigarettes. So lovely.

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This cup is DRIPPING WITH FLAVOR. Yea, so what if I have a high TDS?  This cup is SO worth it.  This is a perfect coffee.  Perfect.  To top it all off, it’s full bodied, and saturated with goodness.  It’s a welcomed Kenya profile but with surprises through the cup.  Definitely savor this one. It is exotic, hypnotic, and definitely one of the stand outs of 2014.  The initial makes of this coffee offered me the most diverse flavor profile, and was what I continued to chase over and over.  The final aeropress method I made of it was probably the closest, but gosh, dang was that a memorable coffee.  It’s explosion of juiciness mid cup was the highlight for me, and only more enhanced by all of the intricacies that you experience through the entire cup.  One of Ruby’s best, and I’m sorry to anyone who didn’t get it, but this coffee isn’t an anomaly.  Pick up his current Kenya or anything else and see what I am talking about.

Ruby 2014.

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.