Coffee Review: Kenya Peaberry Gethumbwini, RockStone Premium Coffees

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label_kenya_peaberryCompany: RockStone Premium Coffees

Bean Origin or Blend: Kenya Peaberry Gethumbwini

Body: Medium

Roast: Medium

Brew Method: Drip and French Press

Price: $17/lb.

Background:
RockStone Premium Coffees is sold by Jameson Cigars. They are one of the first cigar manufacturers to get into the premium coffee industry and we at Toasted Foot applaud their efforts; most cigar enthusiasts I know also share a passion for quality coffee. We reviewed their Sumatra Mandehling a few weeks ago (here), which we thoroughly enjoyed, and will have a couple more reviews to come as we work through their line of single origin coffees.  The Kenyan Peaberry, which we are reviewing today, is no longer available for sale on their website.

The Peaberry Bean:
The Peaberry coffee bean, also known as carcoli, is a fairly rare bean – typically only around 5% of coffee beans are harvested in this manner. The Peaberry is formed in the following way: “Normally the fruit of the coffee plant develops as two halves of a bean within a single cherry, but sometimes only one of the two seeds gets fertilized so there is nothing to flatten it. This oval (or pea-shaped) bean is known as Peaberry.” (source) As a result, the Peaberry is a much smaller bean and is also a firmer bean. Added to this rarity is the fact that Gethumbwini is a relatively small single estate within the coffee farms of Kenya.

Kenyan coffee ranks 6th in Africa for production and 18th in the world; Kenya employs some 6 million coffee workers on nearly 600,000 farms. Coffee was introduced to this region in the 1800s by the Fathers of the Holy Spirit Congregation and Kenya has been a steady producer ever since (source).

Profile:
The aroma of the Kenyan Peaberry was very pleasant with a nice burst of raspberry and a citrus zest on the end. It was very sweet on the smell and it was obvious that this would be an acidic bean. On the pour, the aroma was wonderful and complex, with notes of licorice and berry – the aroma was very strong and tart and reminded me of a robust Red wine, perhaps Shiraz.

The flavor on the palate matched the aroma of the bean and the pour, but with an unexpected amount of acidity. Though acidity is preferred by coffee enthusiasts, the amount that I received from this Kenyan Peaberry was too much for my palate. I found this bean more enjoyable with fewer grounds, but it was still too bitter to enjoy. This was a very rigid experience for me and it was remiss of any smoothness.

Synopsis:
If you are more inclined to enjoy acidic and bitter characteristics in your coffee, you may find less issue with RockStone’s Kenyan Peaberry; for me, however, it was too much and it completely overwhelmed my palate. Unfortunately, I would not be able to recommend this particular bean unless you know your palate well and prefer a less smooth and more complex and moving coffee experience.

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