One Region, Two Vastly Different Flavors

Exploring two Starbucks Reserve® Coffees from Kenya

featuring Ben Scherer | February 29, 2016
HOME Taste & Drinks One Region, Two Vastly Different Flavors

Even our expert tasters are amazed by the way subtle differences in soil, altitude, sun exposure, shade, and farming within the same region can result in such remarkably different flavors. Both from the same country, the Starbucks Reserve® Kenya Kaganga and Kiruru coffees are a perfect example.

Our job is to recognize the subtle and unique flavors in the coffee, and express them in a way that is fantastic in any brewing method.
-Leslie Wolford,
Senior Coffee Quality Development Specialist

Starbucks Reserve® Kenya Kaganda

Hailing from the Great Rift Valley, volcanic mineral-rich soil forms deep beds ideal for growing coffee. Here the 1,300 farmers of the Kaganda Co-op are dedicated to working in harmony with the environment, selecting ripe red cherries and wet-processing them with clean water from the Kihuti River. To ensure even drying, the beans are regularly rotated on drying tables, and later take on a rich, bluish hue. The farmers’ meticulous care and deep respect for their picturesque homeland result in a delicious cup with lime-like acidity and strawberry notes.

This feels like old-world Kenya flavor. It leads with lime-like acidity, and is quickly followed and balanced by deeper fruit notes like sweet peach and strawberry.
-Abigail Kroon,
Commercialization Manager

Starbucks Reserve® Kenya Kiruru

This bean is grown on the eastern slopes of the Aberdare ridge in the central province of Muranga. Kiruru has a big, bold body and a burst of berry aroma and flavor, followed by a host of complex fruit notes.

This is a new perspective on a familiar favorite. It’s fermented twice, an extra step that really allows the flavors we think of in Kenyan coffees to emerge...You’ll taste the richness of the sweet black fruit, plus chocolate notes that add to this coffee’s almost spice-like, savory character.
-Leslie Wolford,
Senior Coffee Quality Development Specialist


We paired the Kaganda with a vanilla scone that brought out its berry sweetness in full force.

We paired the Kiruru with a chocolate chip cookie that accentuated its chocolaty flavors and paired nicely with its spicy undertones.

Limited Availability
This coffee is currently available only in select markets outside of the US.

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