KRV | KENYA BUNGOMA RIFT VALLEY
Fruity Profile | Light roast
Tasting Notes: Banana, Honey, Caramel
IT ALL STARTS AT THE COFFEE FARM
This coffee comes from the Bungoma region of Kenya, in the far Western Rift Valley, on the slopes of Mt. Elgon. For some longtime Driftaway subscribers, Mt. Elgon might sound familiar: we’ve roasted another coffee for the past three years from the other side of Mt. Elgon in Uganda. The border between Uganda and Kenya actually splits Mt. Elgon in half.
Bungoma was mostly isolated until the Kenya Uganda Railway brought development in the 1920s, and now sits in the middle of Kenya’s sugar belt. The name comes from the Bukusu word “engoma”, which is a drum that the Bukusu Elders used to summon people to meetings: Bugoma means ‘place of drums’.
Chwele is the name of the farmer cooperative, and is also a trading center that brings farmers together from around the foothills of Mt. Elgon. The region is devoted to farming, making Chwele Kenya's second largest open-air market. The people here are the primarily members of the Bukusu tribe, though some Tesos and Kikuyus call this home as well. Rich volcanic soils are fed with rains that just happen once a year: 1500 mm (about 5 feet), mostly between March and August.
SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11
1600 - 1900 meters
DID YOU KNOW
There are seven main coffee growing regions in Kenya: the Highlands (the high plateaus around Mt. Kenya), the Aberdare Range, Kisii, Nyanza, Bungoma, Nakuru, Kericho. Each has a different ecosystem and therefore different tasting coffees.
Price paid by Driftaway (per pound avg. across this months coffees)
Fair Trade price per pound
Coffee C-Market price per pound
Driftaway's World Coffee Research contribution per pound
This coffee travelled 7,152 miles to the Driftaway Coffee roastery in Queens.
Love the coffee? You can share your compliments & tasting observations with the farmers.
WHY DID WE SELECT THIS COFFEE?
Mt. Elgon is where most of the coffee in Uganda comes from, but the coffee region on the Kenyan side of the mountain, Bungoma, is not as well known. The most well known growing region in Kenya is much farther east, in the Central Highlands region on the foothills of Mt. Kenya. That’s where most of the Kenyan coffee that we are familiar with comes from - like the coffee from the Gatomboya factory that we featured in May.
But the coffee grown in this region, Bungoma, has a totally distinct flavor profile from both Ugandan coffee on the other side of the mountain, which tends to taste more like chocolate and spice, and Kenyan coffee from the Central Highlands, which tastes much more like citrus and berries.
Over the course of this year, we’ve been taking a flavor journey around Kenya. First with the Gatomboya from those Central Highlands on the slopes of Mt. Kenya - that coffee tasted more like lime, pink grapefruit and mango. Next, with this Rift Valley Bungoma, which again tastes very different: we taste banana, honey and caramel! And later in the year, we’ll feature a third Kenyan coffee that will give you an even different flavor experience!
AVERAGE CUPPING SCORE
SCAA Cupping Score
20 x 60 kg
Length of producer relationship
100% (in 2020)
Transparent coffees purchased
HOW DID WE ROAST THIS COFFEE?
This coffee is being roasted by Ian T. from 18th July to 11st August in Long Island City, Queens. We typically use the Loring Kestrel roaster for this profile. We have strict guidelines for each of the coffee profiles, and this roast has to pass the development time ratio test as measured in real-time by the roasting software, Cropster. Once it does, it is approved for production.
We perform Quality Control via a process of coffee tasting called cupping on all of our production roasts once a week from home as per our Covid-19 shelter in place guidelines. Each cupping is conducted by our roasting staff Kieran D. and Ian T. using standard equipment, and is logged by our Q-certified cupper Ian T. All coffees are evaluated on a scoring scale of 0 to 3.
- 3.0 = exceptional roast - exceeds expectations
- 2.5 = on par with profile - matches expectations
- 2.0 = good roast, but 1 or 2 elements could be improved - needs improvement
- 1.5 or lower = failed - do not ship
PRODUCTION AND SHIPPING
Less than 24 hours after roasting, we bag your coffee in our production facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Our production team is led by Dave and Trae, and supported by a rotating cast of local artists, musicians and independent professionals.
AT YOUR HOME
Brew this coffee with your favorite home brewer and enjoy the taste of incredible coffee! Here are a few tips on how to make the best coffee on each brewer.