Posted by Austin Amento on

 Kenya Kaimbu AA

The Kaimbu coffee-milling factory is located in the Kiambu District, which borders just north of Kenya's capital, Nairobi. Situated within the greater Central Province, the Kaimbu association is part of a legacy of world-renowned producing regions. The coffees in these regions grow at a much higher altitude, and temperatures naturally range on the cooler side. In addition, the plants grow in highly fertile, well-drained soil. For coffee shrubs, these factors help produce well-developed seeds, which translates into a palatable and refined cup. Kaimbu AA is characterized by three varietals: SL-28, SL-34, and Ruiru 11. The term ‘SL’ stands for Scott Labs, which set off to improve on the original Bourbon varietal from the French-occupied island of Reunion. These coffees are specifically cultivated for their distinctly black-currant and red-fruit qualities. 


Kaimbu uses a screening system to grade their coffees in order to determine quality. AA happens to be one of the higher grades of coffee in Kenya, being that this is a much larger bean. This means the beans pass through 18/64ths of an inch sieve perforations, but cannot pass through size 16, the next size lower. The beans are larger than normal, which tends to fetch a higher price at the weekly Nairobi Coffee Exchange. While a larger bean size may indicate good development at high altitude, it is not a reliable indicator. Kenyan coffees are some of the most prized coffees due to geographic influences (terrior), excellent sourcing in cultivars (notably, the SL-28 and SL-34 varietals), and through one of the most organized coffee exchanges in the world. Kenyan coffees are also rare in their processing method. Unlike other washed-processed coffees, they undergo a longer fermentation time, which results in some of the brightest, cleanest and most complex coffees out of any other producing region.

Kaimbu AA is featured for its unique caramel-apple tartness and berry aromatics. The residing finish is raisiny, with a red-fruit sweetness. Common among top-Kenyan coffees, Kaimbu features a somewhat syrupy body reminiscent of our Kenyan Gaturiri or Ethiopian Guji Shakiso. 


-Robert Rybak

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1 comment

  • So how do you like the Kona, Purple Mountain you bought? You srttaed at the top I’d say. I think we (those of us roasting at work) are getting over the urge to see how dark and oily we could burn every type of bean we tried. After purchasing a couple of single-cup brewers, we have been playing with different roasts of the same bean to see if we could tell the difference (yes we could taste this). It also melted my thermometer which must account for some measure of success. We have also played with grinding the beans at different amounts of time after roasting (taste differences seemed to be more subtle, but I think grinding hot beans is not a good idea it jammed the output spout of my burr grinder). It is lots of fun. Too bad cocoa beans require more preparation in making chocolate

    Samet on

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