Kenya AA is the darling of specialty coffee, considered as one of the world’s finest premium cups and beloved by coffee connoisseurs worldwide. So when we brought in our new limited-edition Kenya AA Ruera Estate, we knew it would be special.
Yet on the first tasting of our freshly roasted beans, we were ecstatic about the cup.
Our delight began with the aromatics. “To me it’s a full-on citrus aroma like when you cut into a fresh-from-the-orchard grapefruit, releasing a sweet citrus smell that permeates the entire room,” said Stockton Graham Coffees roastmaster Brandon Riggs.
Imagine that aroma spilling out from your storefront each morning and beckoning customers into your shop or enticing patrons at your restaurant to “make room” for coffee and dessert after a full meal. Great coffee like our new Ruera Estate can do wonders for your bottom line: drawing in new customers and increasing average ticket size by $2 – $3.
And wonderfully vibrant aromatics are just the beginning. The Ruera Estate boasts a full syrupy body that envelopes the tongue and carries the entire tasting experience. “The body is a platform, of sorts, to show off the coffee’s perfectly balanced flavors that meld the sweet, earthy essence of raisins and dates with the tang of tangerine and a spicy zing,” Brandon said.
An Exceptional Single Estate Coffee
Stockton Graham Coffee’s Kenya AA is a single estate coffee, which makes it particularly unique and limited. Estate coffees are a specific type of single-origin coffees that are generally grown on a single farm that might range in size from a small plot to a large plantation. This lot was grown one of the oldest coffee farms in Kenya, and because all the beans come from this one farm, only a limited quantity of the Ruera Estate coffee is available every year.
The Ruera Estate is located about 24 miles from Nairobi in a town called Ruira, which is practically dedicated to growing, harvesting and milling specialty coffee. Those who visit the estate immediately surprised by its unique landscape, which is relatively flat. Although most coffee farms around the world tend to be situated on the hilly inclines of mountains, the Ruera Estate is located on a flat plateau 5000+ feet above sea level, which is an extraordinarily high elevation for Kenya.
Rainfall at this elevation is almost 35 inches per year, spread over two rainy season that results in two overlapping crops each year. And these are ideal conditions for coffee. For a coffee tree to flower, it requires a couple of months of dry weather followed by drenching showers. The dry season on the Ruera Estate is seldom hotter than a European summer and never drops below 35F. It’s a temperate environment that make coffee trees and coffee farm workers, alike, flourish.
At least five different varietals of coffee grow on the Ruera Estate, each in its own plot: SL-28, SL-34, Ruiru 11 and Batian SL and K7. Fruit from all of these trees is harvested between November and April. Berries are washed, de-pulped to remove the fruit from around the bean, fermented, washed again and dried on specially built raised beds. Then they are screen-sorted into one of seven sizes or grades, with AA being the best.
Incorporated in 1950, the estate is one of nine farms that are part of the Kofinaf coffee mill. Most specialty Kenya coffee is grown by small scale farmers and co-operatives and then consolidated at the mills and testing by the Coffee Board of Kenya. The Kofinaf mill is was the first-ever UTZ-certified mill in the world. It is Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance Registered and has been verified to sell 4C compliant coffee since 2008. That means all mill operations are environmentally sound and audited annually for compliance with the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to meet strict standards for sustainability.
This commitment to quality is perhaps one of the reasons why the Ruera Estate produces a superior coffee and why the beans are limited in their availability. To order, call a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943 or email