Brian Beyke

Tony's Coffee & Teas - Mchana Kenya - Craft Coffee - January 2014

Brian Beyke

I suppose the positive side of having two different offerings from the same region is being able to directly bounce them off one another.  Here we have our second offering from Kenya this month and much to my surprise as this was what I thought was going to be a Guatemalan offering from Four Barrel.  Even though I’m sure I would have loved whatever offering I thought I was going to receive, I’m glad I ended up with this Mchana Kenya from Tony’s Coffee.



Roaster: Tony’s Coffees & Teas

Producer: Mchana Estate

Origin: Ruiru Kenya

Variety: SL28, SL34, K7, R11

Elevation: 1,766mas

Process: Washed, sun-dried

Brew Method:

Clever | 34g © to 493g (w) | 3:35 then drop | 204 degrees

In the wet aroma I get sweetness of berries, cranberry, apple, grape, spice.

Very creamy and thicker than the previous offering with a robust molasses and caramel sweetness.  It has a pointy acidity in the rear of the tongue, thinking lime acidity.  A soft violet note is present in the aftertaste.  It isn’t overly floral, just a nice note in there.

 A little astringent in the finish as I dig a little further, but the rear tongue acidity seems to dissipate as well.  Tart fruit, cranberry, lemon, cherry notes.  A little smokiness seems to appear in the finish as well, maybe some maltiness.

As the cup cools it becomes very honey-like; sweet and sugary with an overlying tartness.  It still has a drying finish like wine – merlot specifically.

The end of the cup is still reasonably dry, but does have some caramel sweetness lingering with some cocoa notes along for the ride. 

Was hoping there may be a little more change in the cup, but it stays pretty consistent through the duration of the cup.

Creamy, molasses sweetness, dry finish.


Brew Method:

Kalita Wave | 45g © to 621g (w) | 5:50 total time | 205 degrees (preferred method)

I’ll just say it - It smells amazing.  Cherry from the top as the water is added to the grounds and thick syrupy caramel from the spout hole as the aromas dance around in the carafe while brewing.

First sips I find deep dark honey notes with black cherry sweetness sticking all around the mouth.  Very thick and molasses-like.  There is an overlying tart acidity that seems to bounce around from tongue, side of tongue, to sides of the mouth.  Plum seems to make an appearance as well.  There is a wood note in there too that I can’t pinpoint if it is cedar or pine, but it definitely reminds me of being outside of a cabin in the woods, surrounded by trees.  Each sip continues to actually refresh the mouth in the way that water would, which is a sensation I haven’t experienced before   Very ‘clear’ if I may say so, but as the same time a very dense cup.

 A lemon flavor seems to come into the cup, almost like a limón sorbet or limoncello liquor.

It grows a little more smooth and the acidity rolls off, but still a very viscous and syrupy mouthfeel with tastes that are more reminiscent of sitting down to a glass of brandy.  Woody tones still there as well as a slight smokiness.

Even with the introduction of some very interesting notes there isn’t much change overall through the cup, and only a slight lowering of intensity throughout the way.  However, as much as I enjoy cups that have distinct and separate beginnings and endings, I’d be a liar if I said this wasn’t a great bag of coffee, especially brewed on the Kalita Wave.  

Intense, viscous, brandy.



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.