Kenya Baragwi Guama — Top Shelf

Next roast date: Monday, October 23 


We're proud to offer our Top Shelf line of Joe Coffees, a group of limited selections designed to bring you the most delicious, memorable, thought-provoking coffees in the world.

Kenya Baragwi Guama AA

In winter 2017, Joe Coffee was able to send our Director of Sourcing, Ed Kaufmann, to Kenya to select coffees in person. Of the many coffees Ed evaluated, this lot in particular was the top-scoring of the trip among all the buyers visiting at that time. Since it was the favorite of everyone at the table, they all agreed to split this small, exceptional lot.

This coffee comes from the Guama factory, or wet mill, located on the western side of the Kirinyaga District on the southern base of Mt Kenya. Typically in Kenya, coffee factories also act as cooperatives, and cooperatives make up cooperative societies. Named after the village in which it is located, Guama is one of twelve factories in the area that make up the Baragwi Cooperative Society, which has been operating since 1974. Guama itself is a larger cooperative with 3,500 small-holder members.

In this rich volcanic, sandy soil, SL-28 and SL-34 varieties grow at elevations between 1,700–1,800 meters above sea level. Harvest time is from October to December. Processing at the Guama factory is similar to other Kenyan factories, where perfectly ripe cherries are separated from underripes and overripes, as well as foreign matter. The cherries are then depulped with a McKinnon disk-depulper where the fruit and seeds are separated, and the seeds are floated and screen sorted to separate the most dense from least dense beans. The coffee seeds are then fermented in tanks with fresh water from the nearby Kaboyo River.

After fermentation, the coffee is washed in channels and further sorted by density. The most dense seeds, also referred to P1, are soaked in a tank with freshwater for an additional 24 hours before being transferred to raised beds to begin drying in the sun. The coffee is wrapped up at night as well as during the peak heat points of the day to promote more even drying, and therefore higher quality.

After the coffee is dried, it is transported to the dry mill where the outer parchment layer is removed and the seeds are sorted into several different quality categories based on size and density. Our Guama is classed AA, which is the largest and most dense category, and typically the highest quality category as well.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have been able to share this special lot of coffee with our fans and friends at Joe. Expect this Top Shelf offering to exhibit juicy, lively notes of pineapple and cane sugar.


Top Shelf selections are exclusively available in 8oz bags.

Top Shelf orders are roasted according to demand in limited quantities on Mondays only, in order to ensure maximum freshness and longevity for these small batches. If this coffee is sold out, watch this space for our next roast availability.

All coffee is delivered whole bean. If you need your order ground, please specify your brew method in the special instructions section.




Collections: coffee

Type: Coffee

Vendor: Joe Coffee


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