Brandywine Coffee Roasters - Kenya AA Kiruru
This is the second Kenya AA coffee I've had the pleasure of trying this year, the first one being the incredible Kenya Gachatha AA from Case Coffee.
To be honest, I had no idea what the “AA” meant until I finally decided to do some research on the matter. A quick Google search brought me to the wikipedia page that noted that the AA is simply a bean type grown in Kenya that is larger than any of the other varietals.
More specifically, AA beans are sorted through screen sizes of 17 or 18 (17/64 or 18/64 of an inch). Bean size tends to be given a high correlation with the coffee's overall quality amongst producers, although it should be noted that size isn't the only thing that matters ;-).
Still, AA beans are regarded as the cream of the crop (almost literally) in Kenya.
About Brandywine and the Kiruru
You may notice that I butcher the pronunciation of Kiruru in the video below, so apologies in advance.
This is a coffee that I got to try through my Angels' Cup subscription, and it was roasted by Brandywine Cofee Roasters in Wilmington, Delaware.
Through the Angels' Cup app Brandywine's roastmaster, Todd, mentions that they didn't know much about this coffee's origins aside from the fact that it comes from the Kiruru factory and includes SL-28 and SL-34 varietals.
I know almost nothing about coffee varietals…so once again, I went to Google and found Stumptown's helpful explanation of these two varietals (and more). Check it out if you're curious!
First Brew and Tasting
- AeroPress Standard
- 20 grams of Kenya AA Kiruru
- 360 grams of water at 205˚F
- Grind: medium-fine (#31 on my Breville Smart Grinder Pro)
- Brew time: 1:50
Roast: Half city (Light roast)
Aroma: Milk chocolate, vanilla, honey, earth.
Aroma (roaster): Fig, brown sugar, caramel, graham cracker.
Although we didn't note the same aromas, I think this was simply interpretation. I felt brown sugar and graham cracker were accurate descriptions of the aroma, even though I didn't note them.
Flavor: Orange, vanilla
Flavor (roaster): Plum, black currant, apple, maple syrup, sage.
Maybe this coffee is more complex than I thought, because the roastmaster was tasting something completely different!
My second brew was with the AeroPress again, except this time I inverted it and cranked down the water temperature to 175˚F.
- 20 grams of coffee
- 360 grams of water at 175˚F
- Grind: medium-fine (#31 on Breville Smart Grinder Pro)
- Brew time: 2:00
I think the only difference this time around was that the coffee was a bit sweeter. It could be because it was already cooled down sufficiently, who knows? Good to see consistency despite the big temperature difference though.
It's tough to rate a coffee when you don't get to brew with it a lot (I only had 2.5 oz worth), but I think first impressions are still important, so here we go!
Want to learn more about how I rate coffee? Go here.
Very nice acidity in the sweet orange flavor I was picking up. Not super intense, but very good quality.
The aftertaste was nice, but not too memorable. By “nice” I mean that it didn't leave any lingering dryness or tainted flavors. It wasn't unique from the original flavor though, just more subdued.
Definitely one of the highlights of this coffee. Reminded me of sticking my nose directly into a fruit cobbler.
Across my small sample size of brews, the coffee was always balanced and extremely easy to drink.
Pretty heavy body and very pleasant. No dryness. Had a nice syrupy mouthfeel to it.
Pretty simple flavor from what I was able to pick up. Orange and vanilla was all I could note in the flavor. Delicious, just not very complex like the aroma.
Orange creamsicle. Very yummy 🙂
I thought it was impressive how well this coffee did across two completely disparate water temperatures. Considering it held its balance, I'd say this is a very forgiving coffee.
Very sweet. Perfectly ripe fruit with no overwhelming citrus flavor.
I can't really rate this category because I didn't brew across too many methods.
Is this coffee for you?
If you haven't had too many light roast coffees with high acidity, I don't think I'd recommend starting with this one because it isn't really balanced out by darker flavor profiles like chocolate, smoke, or nuts.
If however, you are already accustomed to lighter roast profiles and want something with great sweetness and a smooth finish, then this is definitely worth checking out.
I still think Case had the better Kenya AA, but Brandywine's version had more aroma and a different flavor profile. Both are definitely winners.
Want to sample coffee on a weekly or monthly basis?
I got to try this coffee thanks to Angels' Cup, which is currently my favorite coffee subscription service. You can check out my review here.