My connection to Thunguri began eight years ago. Yours can begin today.
New coffee releases are not rare, but every so often, one really stands out. This season, it's Thunguri.
Some of what makes Thunguri special is personal, but a lot of it isn't. While my connection to the name, the place, and the coffee runs deep, it's OK that yours may not. We can change that, and it can start today.
Thunguri is one of the first coffee washing stations I visited as a fledgling buyer about eight years ago. As a barista from Melbourne, living and working in London, it was on this first trip Kenyan and Ethiopia that I learned a lot about coffee in a relatively short time.
It was my first time seeing the start of the chain, where luminous red coffee cherries were picked and gathered, ready for sorting and processing into the dried green coffee I was familiar with. Through the site visits and in-person explanations, dots got connected and ideas lined up. Coffee as a fruit began to make sense, and I could see clearly how agriculture, cherry selection, and careful fermentation imbued the produce with the characteristics and qualities we were chasing down in the roastery and cafes.
When it came to Thunguri itself, I was first taken by the sheer beauty of the place where this coffee is grown and processed. At the time, I wrote that "Thunguri is a staggeringly beautiful place to visit, surrounded by agriculturally subdivided hillsides, where macadamia nuts drop from the trees, ready for cracking between two rocks, and immediate consumption."
A few days later, back in Nairobi and having opportunity to taste the coffee, I fell for its acidity, structure, and depth. My notes from that day tell of grape and stone fruit sweetness, and of elegance, clarity, and a finely-tuned structure.
While many incredible coffees have passed across the cupping table over the subsequent eight years, Thunguri still occupies a very special place, remaining indelibly printed onto a canvas of transcendent, ethereal coffees.
Undeniably, a small part of the appeal is due to my memories and personal experience of Thunguri and that first trip to Kenya, but the larger reason for adoring this coffee remains accessible to anyone who prizes vibrant, elegant, and supremely structured coffees — it's wonderfully sweet, intense, and delicious.
I'm so pleased we've been able to access Thunguri this year, and I'm delighted to share it with coffee lovers across Australia.
My connection to Thunguri began eight years ago, but yours can begin today.
Thunguri AA, Kenya