Madcap Coffee Kathakwa

posted in: guest post, reviews | 0

(This is a guest post by Stacey Lynn, another Kansas City-based coffee enthusiast. You can find her at her blog, Stacey’s Coffee, on Instagram and Twitter!)

Stacey recently found Madcap Coffee Company’s Kathakwa (Kenya) at Second Best Coffee in Kansas City. You can buy this coffee directly from Madcap for $21/bag, too! The website has all the stats, but just in case the link disappears, this is a coffee consisting of SL-28, SL-34 and Ruiru 11 varietals from the Kathakwa Factory in Embu. These coffee grow around 1650masl and it was harvested between December and January. There’s a lot of additional information about the coffee on Madcap’s website, so check it out and here’s Stacey’s review!


8154126My second coffee from Madcap Coffee Company. I had wandered into Second Best to see if they had any of their El Salvador beans on the shelf. They might have, I never got that far. I saw the bag of Kenyan from Madcap and went for that. I’m really loving Kenyan coffees right now and I already liked Macap – so it was a no brainer.

The Madcap Coffee website has a lot of interesting information about the region and the farms where the beans are grown. Check it out at:

When I squeezed the bag the air that escaped the valve smelled AMAZING!. I’m that person who gets excited and tries to drag you into it.
I went around the aerial studio making everyone smell it. Everyone agreed that it smelled heavenly. Kept my fingers crossed that the smell would lead into a cup that was equally wonderful.

No worries on that front. It was a very tasty cup of coffee. Actually now it’s been several very tasty cups of coffee.

I did an Aeropress first. Mostly because I could not wait. I’m not known for my patience. No pictures of that – but photos of an AeroPress in action are not hard to come by. This cup was actually my second cup – made with a V60.

One of my Instagram friends has been doing something called the Pool Pour in his V60.  I didn’t see a lot of information on it online, but it seemed pretty straight forward.  Make a hole in the grounds and start your pour there.


So I tried it.

I actually like the results.  I seemed to get a nice even bloom.  Not that I wasn’t before.  Sometimes things with coffee can be very subtle.  I might like method A but for whatever reason method B is just better – even if it doesn’t seem like it should be. Another coffee person may have a totally opposite opinion.

Enjoyed the coffee more with the V60 than the Aeropress.  I’m going to have to play with the recipe a little to see if I can get it just right.  I used 17gr of beans & 220 gr water for my Aeropress and 30gr/coffee 450gr water for my V60.  As I said before, things can be subtle and of course they can vary from day to day.  That’s why I say coffee is as much an art as a science.  I can give you ratios, but if your coffee is older or the house more humid than mine – it’s going to taste different.  Or maybe my perfect strength is not the right one for you.

Anyway – back to the coffee in question.

Cup #3 was brewed in my Kalita Wave.  Again with the 30g coffee/ 450gr water.


So far this has been my favorite of the cups.

With all 3 the aroma was heavy and sweet. I got a fall baked goods kind of scent. A hint of spice, some sweetness like soaked raisins. Maybe that’s why I like the Kenyans so much right now. Fall is in the air and the heavy, dark fruitiness of the Kenyans this year just fits. I found myself wishing they would make this coffee’s scent as an air freshener instead of the boring apple pie fall scents they come out with every year.

The taste was bright and vibrant and very complex. Each sip brought a new taste. There was a heavy sweetness to it with some dried fruits, like raisins and darker fruits like red plums or maybe even prunes. I love prunes and snack on them a lot – I guess that taste would be dried plums, but the drying concentrates the tastes and sugars. I also picked up some citrus. The website tastes notes say tangerine but I would go for mandarin oranges or clementines. I got some spice, kind of peppery maybe or cardamom. With the Kalita I got hints of cocoa which I did not get with the other two methods. With the Aeropress I had more citrus in the cup and lost out on some of the darker fruit flavors that I enjoyed so much.

Despite being a medium/full bodied coffee with a heavier dark taste, there is a lot of brightness to this cup. It’s a balanced brightness though – not an in your face slap. It’s a good wake you up coffee but also a nice after meal drink.

In the past my problem with coffees from Kenya has been that they were roasted too dark and lost too much brightness leaving just bitter sugar OR they were overly bright giving my mouth that just washed out with astringent taste. The crops this year seem to be better or the roasters have just figured it out. Either way, it’s good.

The mouthfeel was nice, full but not heavy. I would compare it to Earl Gray tea. It’s full and deep, but not heavy like syrup. The aftertaste was a little dry with a bit of a citrus taste. That’s when the mandarin taste came through for me the most.

The foods… Didn’t hate this one with bananas. That’s becoming a thing with me lately. Mostly because I have a LOT of bananas lately. (big sale at the farmer’s market the past few weeks) The sweetness of bananas does not always work with coffees, especially bright ones. This one wasn’t bad at all. Bananas, walnuts and raisins in my oatmeal and it paired pretty well. Another time I had it with eggs, spinach and goat cheese. Also a win. With coconut curry? Yeah, not so much. The spices clashed. Good with baked chicken and regular potato – but not so great with the bite of sweet potato. Not bad with a peanut butter cup either. (not that I would ever break my diet and eat a peanut butter cup)

None of the ways I prepared it was bad. Each brought out different things in the cup. The Aeropress was more citrus and a little brighter. The V60 had more of the spice in it and Kalita had more of the darker fruits. I should make espresso with this and see what happens. Some sort of fancy drink with foamy milk and flavors. Maybe make my own pumpkin latte with more spice and less sugar than the Bucks version. Mmmmmmmmm, I know what I’m doing this afternoon.

Thank you to KC Coffegeek for giving me a chance to share my thoughts! Check out Madcap Coffee. I’ve enjoyed both of the coffees I’ve had from them.