Kaku - China (250g/1kg)
Fig | Black Tea | Dried Apple
Farmer: Mr Li
Variety: Catimor (P3/P4)
This is our first coffee from China, and it makes such a complex and interesting brew, showcasing just some of the incredible coffee experiences Chinese coffee is now offering.
Kaku is located in Paliang, the largest coffee producing area in Menglian County, Yunnan. The family run farm and washing station is led by Mr Li, processing coffee grown by surrounding villages of smallholders as well as their own land. Alongside coffee, the farm grows a variety of trees such as camphor tree (used as an essential oil), Tianzhugui (used in traditional Chinese medicine), with Huanghuali (a type of rosewood) grown to provide shade.
Mr Li and his family have been growing and processing commercial grade coffee for over 20 years, typically selling to Nestle, Starbucks and Taiwan. The focus on specialty is less than 5 years old, yet the commitment to quality combined with higher than average elevation means it is producing some excellent washed lots. The family are very well respected in the local community, helping many villagers with education and healthcare, which is highly valued in this remote area.
Coffee cherries are hand harvested from surrounding villages before being pulped to remove the skin, fruit and mucilage. The remaining coffee (called parchment) is dry fermented for 18 hours. Next they are run through narrow channels of flowing water to sort the parchment by density before being spread out on drying patios for approximately 10 days.
Alongside it being our first Chinese coffee, we wanted to share this coffee with our subscribers first because it is such an interesting coffee with a unique profile within our line up. This is a washed process coffee that is big on sweetness and body whilst maintaining the intrinsic characteristics of a coffee from the Yunnan region.
When brewing this coffee we got lots of rich, sweet fruit, which is where we drew the fig note – if you extract less you’ll emphasise the acidity which makes it feel like fresh fig, whilst higher extractions will increase the sweetness and body which gives more of a dried fig flavour. Whilst we tried to figure out how to explain this very interesting cup in a way that was understandable we settled on a black tea, but to go slightly further it is actually like a Chinese black tea from the Yunnan region, which is where the coffee is from too. This black tea has rich caramel and cocoa notes, and can often have a slight smokiness which thankfully the coffee doesn’t have.
Dried Apple was the final descriptor we chose and this describes a balance of sweetness, concentrated fruit flavour with a little edge of acidity to makes things interesting.
This coffee is quite forgiving, producing a great cup across the full range of extractions, and we’d recommend changing up your brewing recipe, once you’ve tried it once, to experience more of the potential flavours within this Chinese coffee.
Grind: If you need your coffee ground, select on the dropdown. Let us know in the "Special Instructions" if there is any other specific brew method you need the coffee ground for.