Kenya Chania Estate Washed French Mission 2019


Bean name Kenya Chania Estate Washed French Mission 2019
Country #SSSSS Limited Editions 2019
Region Thika, Kiambu
Other info Fresh blackcurrant, gooseberry, molasses


Number 1 of 12, January 2019, in the #SSSSS 2019 - Steve's Super Secret Stash Subscription. A limited availability series of roasted coffee beans.

This month it's: Kenya Chania Estate Washed French Mission 2019

Welcome to the one, the only... Steve’s Super Secret Stash Subscription!!! AKA #SSSSS

Thank you for choosing to join me for the next 12 months and 12 delicious coffees. Special lots which are just for you – ones you won’t see on our website or in our other subscriptions. I’m really excited to start sharing these amazing lots with you along with the stories behind them.

Whether you’re a returning Super Secret Stasher (Hello again!! Happy 2019!!) or new to #SSSSS, I hope to take you around the coffee world, 2 sacks at a time. Why two sacks? Well, that’s just about enough coffee for you lot, with enough left over for a brew for me too (it is STEVE's SSSS after all!)

Before I get to the exciting stuff about this month’s coffee – a little housekeeping. As we’re a bit into January already, you’re getting your first coffee a little later than normal. From now on, watch out for this e-mail near the end of the month and your next months coffee should be with you on or before the 1st of the month. If it sadly doesn't turning up, or you need to change your address or anything like that, just drop us an e-mail at and someone will swoop in and fix things in a flash.

If, however, you want to tell me how delicious this months coffee is, you can find me on social media – I love to see tweets, Insta photos/stories & Facebook posts of you enjoying the coffee. Please use the #SSSSS tag to help me find them!

Now, back to what #SSSSS is all about. At Hasbean, we buy coffee from all over the world, wherever we can find something tasty. We love working with great producers year after year – people I now consider friends as well as partners. Out of these relationships come great coffees, but they don’t get to be great easily. The best coffees are grown by producers who are pushing themselves, exploring and trying new things and looking how they can do things differently. It’s from these experiments that most of our #SSSSS lots come. Our mission, now in its fifth year, to bring you something unique, something you otherwise wouldn’t get to taste, something exciting.

Talking of missions, this first coffee starts it’s story at a Mission – the French Mission in Kenya, in the 19th Century. The global history of Arabica coffee centres on Reunion Island, a French overseas territory off the coast of Madagascar. It was here that Arabica was brought to from it’s native Ethiopia and from there to the world. The varietal that travelled from there took the name of the French Royal House – Bourbon. At the end of the 19th Century, French Missionaries arriving in Kenya brought with them plants from Reunion. From these plants, a selection was made that came to be called French Mission. In turn, this French Mission stock would eventually give rise to the Scott Lab varietals – of which SL28 and SL34 are now justly famous throughout the world.

So what happened to French Mission itself? The plants were forgotten. Coffee estates moved on over the decades, adopting new varietals and trying to improve their disease resistance and yields. French Mission looked to be consigned to the past. However, just like in other parts of the world, old varietals still clung on in the quieter corners of estates or on the edges of wilderness, ready to make a return.

Now French Mission has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years and this weeks coffees is one that has lead that charge. Grown on the Chania Estate of Boyce Harries, this lot has been processed via the traditional Washed method and is a AA grade.

Chania is on the outskirts of Thika, barely a stones throw from Kiriga Estate who we have worked closely with for several years now. But whilst Kiriga lies in Muranga county, Chania lies in Kiambu – the Thika river forming a winding barrier between the two as it snakes it’s way from the Aberdare Mountains down to the River Tana before finally joining the Indian Ocean.

In the cup it’s this is tart, fresh blackcurrants. There’s some gooseberry mixed in and a gentle molasses like aftertaste, but that zingy acidity keeps going throughout the cup.

Country: Kenya
Region: Kiambu
Town: Thika
Farm: Chania Estate
Farmer: Boyce Harries
Altitude: 1,525 m.a.s.l.
Variety: French Mission
Processing system: Washed
Grade: AA

Please enjoy this first, exciting installment of #SSSSS and look out for your second towards the end of January!

Stephen Leighton

Cupping notes

Clean cup None/8
Sweetness None/8
Acidity None/8
Mouthfeel None/8
Flavour None/8
Aftertaste None/8
Balance None/8
Overall None/8
Correction +None
Total None

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