Competition-winning coffee makes a triumphant return
Full and complex meets sparkle and clarity
Big, juicy Kenyas jump out of the cup. Rarely are coffees so full and complex while retaining such sparkle and clarity. Cultivated in a high-elevation equitorial climate, Kenyan co-op lots like our competition-winning Gondo AA are amongst the most interesting and intense you’ll find. We’re pleased to have this high-scoring AA grade as part of our Rare + Experimental Series.
The Gondo factory is situated in Murang’a County, home to 528 small-holding member-producers of the New Kiriti Farmers Cooperative Society. Individual member-producers harvested their own small gardens in this “Land of Steep Hills” between late 2017 and early 2018, delivering their SL-28, SL-34, Ruiru 11, and Batian varieties to the Gondo factory each day they pick.
Underripes, overipes, and foreign matter are removed before pulping and density-based water sorting begin. Sixteen to eighteen hours of water-soaking assists in loosening the coffee berries' sticky sweet layer of pectin. Once this controlled fermentation has done its job, the pectin rinses right off. The now fully washed seeds, encased in just their protective parchment, are evenly sun-dried on raised beds for 7-15 days until they reach a stable moisture percentage. At the dry mill, the seeds are graded based on size (with AA being the second largest and often thought of as the best, though there are plenty of exceptions to this). All of this work adds up to a washed process that many feel is second-to-none as it maintains flavor clarity and vibrancy, while adding a complement of light ferment flavors and a creamy mouthfeel.
The last time we carried Kenya Gondo, it won the Northeast Brewers Cup and helped us make finals at the U.S. Barista Championship. Three years later, it’s back and better than ever. If you enjoy Kenyas or big, juicy coffees in general, you’re going to love Gondo AA. We encourage paper filtered, by-the-cup pour over methods to get the most articulate brews of this full and complex Rare + Experiemental Series offering. Dial-into blackberry jelly donut, blood orange, and grilled grapefruit by starting with a 1:17 brew ratio, filtered water at 208-209℉, a medium grind (Kenyas like to be ground coarser than their similarly-roasted peers), and a 3-3.5 minute brew cycle. The extraction yield ranges from bright berries and juicy orange at the lower end to resinous grapefruit and dark caramel at higher yields.