This month’s MyCoffeePub.com subscribers get this killer Congo Muungano from Kickapoo Coffee Roasters! This coffee is bright and sweet and delicious and unusual in all the right ways. I loved it! Check it out below…
MYCOFFEEPUB APRIL 2017: KICKAPOO COFFEE ROASTERS PROJECT CONGO MUUNGANO
I know I say this every month, but the guys at MyCoffeePub really do seem to be reading my mind! Just last weekend I stopped at the wonderful Mars Cafe in Des Moines on our way to see My Favorite Murder live in Chicago. Mars uses Kickapoo coffee in their cafe and I thought, “I really do need to get in touch with them and try to get some samples to share with readers…” And, a week later, what arrives on my doorstep from this month’s MyCoffeePub subscription? Kickapoo. OF COURSE! This has happened more times since I’ve been a subscriber than I care to admit. I need to dust off that aluminum foil hat I made! LOL For those who don’t know, MyCoffeePub is a monthly subscription where you get a bag of coffee from the roaster of the month. It’s always a surprise and the gents at MCP have a knack for picking great coffees from great roasters. I love it!
Kickapoo Coffee Roasters have been a staple in specialty coffee in Wisconsin since 2005. In 2015 they switched their operation to run mainly off solar power, which is super cool. Kickapoo is also very farmer focused and is doing what they can to raise wages for farmers and support farms that use oragnic growing practices and fair trade economics. This particular coffee is from the Muungano Cooperative, a Swahili word that means, “togetherness.” For too many years, the eastern Congo people were divided by war and ethnic strife, but through projects like Muungano they are finding how to work together and prosper. This cooperative was founded in 2009 with 250 members and today there are 4,300 farmers pooling their coffee and experience together!
Muungano Cooperative has invested in nurseries, washing stations for microlots and even a cupping lab. The co-op’s coffees are certified organic and are fair trade certified as well. For every bag of this coffee sold, Kickapoo is donating $1 to Project Congo, an effort to help women in the Congo, a country that the United Nations has called, “the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman.”
This coffee comes from the southern Kivu region of Congo which borders Rwanda and Burundi to its east across from Lake Kivu and Lake Tanganyika. This is Bourbon varietal grown at 1500-2000masl and it’s a washed coffee with flavor notes from Kickapoo of, “floral, blackberry and spice.” I used my standard pourover setup of a 1:16 ratio of 18g of coffee to 450g of water. I used Third Wave Water to brew in a notNeutral Gino dripper with a Handground grinder set to 3.5.
This produced beautiful cups of coffee that reminded me of washed Ethiopian coffees as well as elements of bright Kenyans, but with totally different flavor profiles. It’s killer! The aroma on the cup has beautiful floral and berry notes while the sip is full bodied and drills deep into my palate. I get a lot of blackberry sweetness and tartness right in the front of the sip. It hits my tongue and cheeks pretty aggressively, which to me is the definition of a “juicy” coffee. That blackberry note carries through the whole sip and is very apparent long into the aftertaste, too. This is a bright cup with, again, that blackberry sweet/tart combination providing some of the acidity as well as acidity that is somewhat more malic (think green apples) and maybe phosphoric, which tends to ramp up the brightness and flavor of a coffee without really providing a flavor note of its own. There is a bit of a cola vibe to this coffee for me, and that would be consistent with some phosphoric acid. Regardless, it’s awesome! It’s bright, it’s aggressive, but it’s also super sweet and easy to drink.
In terms of sheer “brightness” I would put this up there with really citrusy, grapefruity Kenyans, but the acid profile is a bit rounder and gentler than what I am used to finding in a lot of Kenyan coffees, so the less-citric, more berry-like profile mellows this coffee out somehow, even though it’s bright and almost effervescent in a way. Really unusual, in a good way, and an absolute stunner of a coffee. Kickapoo has done a fantastic job with this coffee and props to MyCoffeePub for picking it as this month’s subscription! I hope other subsribers are enjoying it as much as I am and if you aren’t a MCP member, you should be, but you can still buy this coffee by the bag directly from Kickapoo, too!