July’s MyCoffeePub.com subscription just landed and this month they’re featuring a Kenyan coffee from Denver staple, Pablo’s Coffee. I’ve seen Pablo’s before on trips to Denver, but was never in a position to stop in, so I’m excited to give this a try! Check out the links below and let’s get drinking!
MY COFFEE PUB JULY 2017: PABLO’S COFFEE KENYA MACHAKOS MUTHUNZUUNI RESERVE AA
I’ve been saying this forever now… the middle of the month when MyCoffeePub ships out to subscribers is a highlight for me. It’s a great surprise to open that shipping bag up and see what the boys selected for subscribers that month and I love it. They have a great track record for their selections, in my book, and I’m hoping this month’s Kenyan from Pablo’s Coffee in Denver, Colorado is no different. Pablo’s Coffee has a small roastery in Denver along with two shops. Pablo’s was founded by Craig Conner and Kris Kluver in 1995. Craig continues to lead Pablo’s today and any coffee shop that has been around for over 20 years is a testament to the business and its place in the community it serves.
This month’s coffee is a selection from Machakos, a town of over 150,000 people found southeast of Nairobi, Kenya. Machakos is also home to the Muthunzuuni Society of farmers and while the co-op and town are lesser known, the region is very productive in coffee growing and processing. Coffee grows around 1850-2150masl there and this lot surely contains the famous SL-28 varietal that gives Kenyan coffees their famed high notes and grapefruit tones.
Pablo’s Coffee describes this coffee as, “Sparkling and refreshing, this AA is reminiscent of pink lemonade, sun tea, and sweet-tart candy, with a silky body and a crisp, melon finish.” Sounds awesome! I used my usual 1:16 pourover ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper with Kalita 185 filters. My Handground grinder was set to 3 and I used Third Wave Water for my brewing, which I have found to be as essential as hot water and a grinder when it comes to making coffee!
I find this cup to have a medium body with a good balance between sweetness in the bottom end and the high notes in the acidity. There is a pink grapefruit acidity on the front end that turns slightly tart and slightly more savory (not quite tomato, which Kenyan coffees often have, but toward that) in the second half of the sip and lingers into the long aftertaste with some spicy notes. I get flashes of tomato juice here and there in the early part of the sip, too. There is definitely an iced tea character to this coffee, too, enhanced by a little bit of astringency on my tongue that leaves it feeling slightly dry after each sip. The long aftertaste reminds me a lot of sun tea, just like the descriptor says, so maybe there is some suggestion bias going on. That being said, the aftertaste of this Kenyan takes me back 35 years to when my mom used to have her big glass jar sitting on the steps every few days to make another batch of sun tea. I always wanted to love it and never could quite embrace the flavors (being 5 years old, you know!), but the aftertaste on this coffee really takes me back there!
This is a nice example of a Kenyan coffee. It has the acidity profile I always like, with some extra surprises like the hints of tomato and the sun tea mouthfeel and flavor notes in the aftertaste. At the same time, it is mellow enough to not be bracing and it has a big sweetness that anchors the coffee and makes it really enjoyable. A solid offering and a good choice for a subscription coffee because this Machakos Muthunzuuni is more accessible than Kenyan coffees can sometimes be.