Bean review: Origin

Origin have been roasting coffee in deepest Cornwall since 2008. Focusing on small batches of seasonal coffee, they set high standards for environmental sourcing and direct trade, getting a fair price for farmers. Over the years they have built up a loyal following of restaurants and cafes, especially in the South West, where they have been a powerful force in the development of speciality coffee, providing inspiration, training and technical support as well as their beans. In London, you can try their coffee at their stand in Selfridges, at Hubbard and Bell in Holborn and Barber and Parlour in Shoreditch. Below are two filter coffees currently available on their website.

Guama Zahabu, Kirinyaga, Kenya

In Kirinyaga, east of Nyeri, smallholders work volcanic soil to produce some special coffees. The Guama mill is part of the Baragwi Farmers’ Cooperative of 3,500 growers. This coffee is washed - as typical of Kenya. The dry beans are quite variable in size and appearance – in this dry state the coffee has a delicious fruity smell reminiscent of forest fruit, blackberries and raspberries. As a filter, this coffee has lots of redcurrant with good body and a lovely mouth feel. There is a subtle orange sweetness and acidity and hints of dark chocolate, red plum and black tea. It’s a very pleasant drink indeed with a lovely finish.

Varietal: SL-28 | Process: Washed | Phil's tasting notes: redcurrant, orange, dark chocolate, red plum, black tea

£6.65 for 250g via www.origincoffee.co.uk

Kii Zahabu, KIrinyaga, Kenya

From the same province, with the same varietal, comes the Kii Zahabu but it’s an entirely different beast. Much less fragrant than the Guanma Zahabu in its dry state, it has a vaguely nutty smell. However, it’s a truism that dry smell in coffee is not always an indicator of flavour. When brewed, this one comes alive. The Kii Zahabu has a creamy body giving fudge-like caramel notes to dominant raspberry flavours with hints of raisins, black tea and lemon boiled sweets. It’s delicious. The coffee leaves you with an aftertaste of raspberry black tea, slightly drying but lovely. It is produced by the Kii and Karimikui mills owned by the Rungeto Farmers’ Cooperative which was founded in 1953 and has 3,000 members.

Varietal: SL-28 | Process: Washed | Phil's tasting notes: raspberry, more raspberry, fudge, caramel, raisins, black tea, lemon boiled sweets

£6.65 for 250g via www.origincoffee.co.uk

More bean reviews:

Bean review: Workshop

Bean review: Square Mile

Bean review: Nude

Bean review: Notes

December 17, 2014 — Best Coffee