Release #2: Kiriani PB 2016

2016 was the second consecutive year that Passenger featured coffees produced by John Njoroge, proprietor of Kiriani Estate in the Gatanga region of Kenya. This special farm was the source of some of the most beautiful Kenyan coffees we have tasted in recent memory and it is a true pleasure to make a limited amount available again today.

In Kenya, a “coffee lot” is made from a larger batch of coffee that is delivered to the dry-mill from a cooperative or estate on any given day. When a delivery arrives at the mill, it is processed (hulled), analyzed (technically and sensorially), screened (separated according to bean size) and given an outturn-number. Typically, beans screened into AA, AB, and PB outturns are sold separately as microlots. AAs are flat beans with screen size 18+. ABs are flat beans with screen sizes 16 and 17. These numbers (18, 17 and 16) refer to 64ths of an inch. Most coffee cherries contain two beans that develop together with the flat sides facing each other. Sometimes, a single, round bean grows by itself inside a small cherry, and these are called peaberries or PBs. 

In earlier times it was often believed that the largest-sized beans, (the AA’s), tasted the best, and for this reason, AA outturns have traditionally commanded the highest prices in Kenyan coffee auctions. Despite the historical hegemony of the AA screen size, AB and PB outturns have earned a reputation in the specialty coffee industry for often tasting as good, or even better, than the AAs in a given year.

Passenger bought AA, AB, and PB selections from Kiriani in 2016 and this limited release for Freezer Friday features the peaberry that we bought that year. Showcasing a classically Kenyan flavor profile of dark berries, citrus, and baking spices, this juicy stunner from John Njoroge’s estate is truly one of our all-time favorites.

Freezer Fridays

The Freezer Friday archival release series provides a unique new opportunity to explore Passenger’s treasure trove of notable harvests from the past. As those familiar with our approach to green coffee preservation will already know, we have actively stored our green coffee in an off-site deep freeze facility since our start as a company, keeping the coffees that we purchase in pristine condition following arrival.

While the majority of Reserve Lot coffees that we buy sell out within months of their first appearance on our menu, we have, since our start in 2014, saved small volumes of many of our most extraordinary coffees for future enjoyment. 

Inspecting the harvest at Gesha Village Estates

Selecting gems from the past at Passenger’s off-site freezer archive

This year we will begin to make a few of these “greatest hits” available for purchase in extremely limited quantities. Each release will be announced through Social Media and limited to 1 per order.

The archival lots that we will be releasing in this way are not only shining examples of plant genetics, terroir, and skilled processing, they also offer a unique nostalgic opportunity: to revisit our previous experiences with these coffees and acknowledge once again some of the true high-water marks of producers whose coffees we have been privileged to taste over the years.

• 05.15.2020 Release #1: Gori Gesha Forest 2016

• 06.19.2020 Release #2: Kiriani PB 2016

• 07.03.2020 Release #3: Francisco Valencia C.O.E. 2018

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