A few weeks ago I reviewed Flying Goat Coffee’s Ana Letis Reyes from Honduras. For the most part, the flavor profile was easy to pin from brew to brew.
Tart apple notes with caramel smokiness consistently hit the palate, and overall, it was a satisfyingly dependable coffee to drink.
This week’s review is for the Kenya Kabiruini AA, also roasted Flying Goat Coffee. Also very good, but as you’ll see in the review, I had a very tough time pinpointing the flavor notes.
About Flying Goat Coffee
Flying Goat Coffee got its start more than 20 years ago in Healdsburg, CA and have since opened two additional cafés in Healdsburg and Santa Rosa, CA respectively.
And beyond that, I really wish I could tell you more, but unfortunately I haven’t visited any of their cafés nor was their much information I could draw from online.
Keeping things on the down low. I like it.
About Mathira North Farmers Co-operative Society
Mathira North Farmers Co-operative consists of a number of small family-owned coffee farms with their own small coffee plots. All of the coffee is processed in the Kabiruini factory (milling station) in the region. These particular beans are of the AA class because of their size. AA coffee beans in Kenya are the biggest and often considered to be the best quality. This is up for debate in the worldwide coffee community though.
General Notes and Observations
Speaking of this coffee in general terms was easy. It was the specific descriptions that I got caught up on.
As I mentioned in the video review, I had an atypical experience with this particular Kenyan coffee in that it was earthy up-front and bright at the finish.
I found that brewing on the coarser side worked best with this coffee, as it was easy to over-extract.
Aroma: popcorn, licorice
Roaster tasting notes: cassis, bright, silky
Producers: Mathira North Farmers Co-operative Society
Region: Nyeri, Kenya
Cultivar: SL 28, SL 34
Processing method: Washed
Farm elevation: 1800-2000masl
As I mentioned in the video, I mostly brewed with drip methods like the Kalita Wave. I didn’t get to try it out as espresso, but my sense is that it would have actually done quite nicely given its good balance.
I did most of my brewing with the Kalita Wave during my time spent with this coffee.
I definitely had my fair share of over-extracted cups of coffee, but I tried not to let this deter me from dialing things in.
When I did, the result was quite good and quite consistent.
Again, difficult flavor profile to pinpoint, but here were my notes:
Flavor: green apple, red wine, challah
I can’t say that my results varied too much from brew method to brew method. This was a consistent coffee.
The AeroPress did bring out more of the syrupy body in the coffee, but this was to be expected given the higher concentration.
Flavor: berry, earth, tobacco
If you’re new here, you can check out how I rate whole bean coffee here.
As I mentioned, the acidity of this coffee comes out in the backend of the overall flavor profile. It’s a strong berry acidity, but definitely not the focal point of this coffee.
I picked up a challah aftertaste at one point, which is a new one for me. Otherwise, the aftertaste was muted throughout most of the cups I made.
The aroma was a tricky one for me. Hard to rate given the fact that I got these beans pretty far off roast. I’ll leave the score out of this one, but I did pick up some licorice and popcorn elements in the aroma.
This coffee has pretty damn good balance in its flavors, with earthy notes up front and fruity notes at the finish. The only thing that retracts from the score here is the difficulty I had in dialing it in. This coffee was easy to over-extract.
To be completely honest, I didn’t pay as much attention to body as I usually do. I have to leave out a score for this category.
Nice complexity, but hard to articulate all of the coffee’s flavor notes. What made this coffee most interesting to me was the fact that it was earthy up front and bright at the finish. Not common in my experience.
I thought the flavor was good for the most part, but I thought it was just a little bit tart for my taste preferences.
I had problems dialing this one in across a lot of my brews, but the flavor notes were usually pretty consistent.
More tart and smokey than sweet. Rarely bitter.
I didn’t get to pull any shots with this. I also didn’t experiment with enough brew methods to really rate this category.
I’ve been pretty impressed with the coffee coming from Flying Goat, and this is definitely a coffee roaster that I’m excited to check out in person. Healdsburg isn’t too far away, so maybe I’ll make it a weekend trip soon.
I will say that this was my second favorite of the two coffees I’ve tried from Flying Goat so far.
Additionally, this wasn’t a Kenyan coffee that knocked my socks off. This was a surprise considering most Kenyan coffee blows me away.
With that said, this was a very unique coffee given its evolution of flavor from sip to aftertaste. The earthy notes up front helped balance out the high acidity that you often get from Kenyan coffee.
You can order Flying Goat’s Kenya Kabiruini AA directly off their website here.