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Kenya Kiganjo Peaberry Artisan Roast Review

Published on under the Coffee Review category.

A bag of Artisan Roast Kenya Kiganjo beans, sitting on a white table in front of a window and books

In keeping with my personal philosophy to order from Scottish coffee roasters, I recently ordered a bag of Kenyan peaberry coffee from Scotland’s own Artisan Roast. Artisan Roast is one of the biggest players on the Scottish coffee scene and my first coffee from them did not disappoint; it was delicious and well-balanced. So, I knew that I’d get something unique from the new coffee I ordered from them.

I ordered Artisan Roast’s Kenyan Kiganjo PB (peaberry) coffee because it is a peaberry. I’ve read about peaberries in books but I was yet to try one. I knew that they looked different but I had never seen one until this bag of peaberry coffee arrived. I could see that the coffee was different through the characteristic Artisan Roast packaging, which is white and lets you get a rough sight at the shape of the beans inside. I opened the bag and saw a very unique bean.

This coffee marks a lot of firsts for me. It is my first peaberry coffee and my first Kenyan. I learned that Kenya is one of the only countries that takes deliberate care to separate peaberries from the rest of its crops, meaning that it’s easier to get your hands on a Kenyan peaberry than a peaberry from most other origins. I do not know if peaberries are more common in Kenya. They are just separated from the rest of the batch more often.

Kiganjo is sourced from a co-operative with over 400 members. The coffee contains bourbon SL28 and SL34 cultivars, the former of which is considered to be sweet and have a juicy body. SL28 yields quite low amounts of fruits; SL34 yields more but its beans are not considered to have the same qualities as that of SL28. Either way, I was excited to try these two varietals.

On my first cup of coffee with these beans, I was struck by the grapefruit flavor. If I could use only one flavor descriptor to characterise this coffee, it would be grapefruit. This coffee is one of the most acidic I’ve ever had, which makes sense given how grapefruit is so prominent in the drink.

When this coffee is hot, I get quite strong caramel notes. This is accompanied by a pleasant caramel aroma with some citrus fruit. Caramel is the most obvious aroma at the start. But, this slowly changes as the brew cools. I was greeted by a powerful grapefruit flavor in the middle of the drink. The flavor was not too overwhelming but it packs a punch, more so than I expected.

Grapefruit is clear in the finish of this coffee. It lingers on the mouth for some time after drinking a cup. It’s not often that I have a coffee that tastes so similar to a food I have had. This coffee reminds me so much of grapefruit. I am struggling to articulate the taste in words.

Toward the end of the cup, I was pleasantly surprised by growing notes of blackcurrant. I did not get much of a blackcurrant flavor from this coffee until the end. The grapefruit and citrus flavors were the clearest as the cup went on. The blackcurrant flavor was subtle but pleasing, accompanied by a vanilla flavor which I picked up on in my last few sips.

Acidity is a defining factor in this coffee. I did get quite a lot of sweetness from this coffee but the sweetness seemed to come in waves. At the start of the cup, I got a lot of sweetness. Then, at the end of the cup, the sweetness came back.

Kiganjo has a medium to light body, edging more on the medium side. This works well with the drink given its clear citrus notes.

I did think for a moment that I may have underextracted this coffee after I had my first cup. I realised that this coffee is just quite different to what I am used to, and I see that as a great quality. I may not be the biggest lover of grapefruit but it works well with the different flavors in this coffee. The dry grounds smelled mainly like caramel and so I expected those notes to be clearer. But, I was surprised, pleasantly, by the grapefruit.

You can buy this coffee from the Artisan Roast website.

About This Coffee

Process: Fully washed

Price: £9.50 (250g)

Cultivar: Bourbon SL28, Bourbon SL34

Tastes: Grapefruit, caramel, blackcurrant, vanilla

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