Review: Ruby Coffee Roasters Kenya Kiangoi (Nelsonville, Wisconsin)

Ruby Coffee Roasters came to my attention when I saw the Thrillist list of the 21 Best Coffee Roasters in the Country, published at the end of 2017. So far, I’ve tried coffees from 13 out of the 21… going to continue chipping away at this list in my own time!

Nelsonville, Wisconsin is a very very small town (population 158!!), but this coffee company is proof that you don’t need to be located in an urban center to make a name for yourself. I like their slogan, “Colorful Coffees,” and I appreciate that they celebrate the inherently fleeting and variable qualities of the coffee they roast instead of trying to make their coffee taste the same year after year, batch after batch. From their website:

We like our coffees with a little flair and we are proud to celebrate the broad range of beautiful, colorful flavor coffee can have. We focus on celebrating the unique, exciting qualities of each offering rather than trying to have a consistent profile.

The last Kenya Kiangoi I had was from Heart Coffee Roasters, and that was a stunning flavor bomb that was reminiscent of vanilla ice cream and pineapple and cranberry juices. I was curious how this would compare to that.

Whole bean: Very fruity and floral, with notes of cherry, plum, and peaches.

French press: Creamy, complex, with peach and floral flavors. This method tasted oddly hollow and a bit sour though, I think the end result was a little unbalanced.

Chemex: Now THIS is more my speed, it was slightly less complex tasting but much better balanced. More “treble” in this mix, if that makes sense. Sweet, fruity, and smooth on the tongue.

AeroPress: Rich but a little too intense for me to drink as a concentrate. It tasted strong, sour, herbal and grassy. However, adding a little water balanced everything out very well.

V60: Great balance. Less fruit and more herbal notes than the Chemex version.

Summary: Love this coffee made in pourover methods and in the AeroPress. I think the Chemex produced the version that was best in my view – sweet, creamy, balanced, with bright fruit flavors.

From the roaster: Ripe currant and berry notes at the forefront of the cup profile. Peach, orange, lavender, hibiscus

This particular coffee is not currently available from Ruby’s website, but here’s a link to their online store:

Ruby Coffee Roasters

Review conducted 8 days post-roast.

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