Kenya Kaimbu AA

Posted by Austin Amento on

The Kaimbu coffee-milling factory is located in the Kiambu District, which borders the north of Kenya's capital, Nairobi. Situated within the greater Central Province, the Kaimbu association is part of a legacy of world-renowned coffee-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 and 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