If it feels like every city in the world has at least one fantastic coffee shop and roaster – that’s probably because they do. Norwich is no different with Strangers standing head and shoulders above their competition locally. In fact, Strangers coffee are well known throughout the country, with co-founder Alex Sergeant being featured in the UK Barista Championships and Late Art competitions. However, Strangers are not just about brewing you coffee, they also source and sell only the best coffee for you to do with as you please.
You will find a range of coffees that have been individually sourced from across the world. With farms as far flung as Ethopia and Kenya, to Colombia and Guatamala – the different profiles and ethically sourced coffee on offer is rather unique. We have been able to get our hands on the Rwanda Kilimbi Natural coffee and the Ethiopia Rocko Mountain coffees for our own test of what Strangers have to offer through their selection process.
As you might expect when buying select coffee, each bag comes with a flavour profile, recommended brewing notes and also a background as to the coffee itself.
Stranger Coffee Kilimbi, Rwanda Review
Tasting notes: Flavours of juicy red berries, orange and white peach. Milk chocolate on the finish with a rounded mouthfeel.
Altitude: 1550 MASL, 1800 MASL
Region: Nyamasheke, Gitsimbwe
Process: Natural dried on raised beds
Varietal: Red Bourbon
The Kilimbi Washing Station, found by Lake Kivu, is the first licensed natural washing station in Rwanada. A lot of work is put in here, where the cherry is laid out on raised beds, checked for defects, under-ripes and any foreign bodies, and dried for 35-45 days.
We set up our v60 for a quick pour over because it sounded fantastic. The aroma of dried and old fruit hits you almost instantly and hangs in the air. This then complements the immediate hit of acidity from the coffee, which is very fruity, tasting of juicy berries and citrus, maybe a pink grapefruit type flavour. It certainly tastes very sweet. On the way down you are left with a rather round flavour in the mouth, almost like a smooth butter. We very much enjoyed the Kilimbi from Strangers, although we think its something you have the be in the right “sweet” mindset for.
Stranger Coffee Rocko Mountain Reserve, Ethiopia Review
Tasting notes: Intense florals, ripe blueberry, hints of chocolate and orange starburst
Altitude: 1900 MASL, 2150 MASL
Region: Yirgacheffe, Haricha Woreda, Gedeo Zone
Stranger’s selection of Rocko Mountain Coffee come from smallholders based around the Rocko Mountain in the Haricha Woreda, Yirgacheffe.
The cherries are typically frown in the garden sytle here, in the shade of other crops or trees, without chemicals. These local cherries are handpicked and sold on to a trader who processes and sorts them, before selling them on to the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. The beans are tested to ensure they meet the right standards before Addis Exporter picked the best of the best and label them up for their “Rocko Mountain Reserve” coffee.
When we brewed up a cup to give us a lift on a dreary Wednesday afternoon, it seemed almost perfect. Using a v60 pour over again, with a touch of milk, it was rather delicious. It gave off an initially bright and vibrant taste, with a strong fruity flavour of oranges, summer berries and a sweet hit like mango. It is bold, sweet and bright and brings memories of Christmas with his fruity combination of flavours.
If you are in Norwich and looking for the perfect coffee, definitely head over to Strangers, where they will not only help you pick the right brew for you on the day, but make it the way that might best suit you too. Of course, if you are not in Norwich, then you can head to their webstore and pick up a bag or two and check out what is on offer. Given the nature of the coffee, what they have both in store and online is subject to change and once it is gone, well, it is gone, so check back on the regular to ensure you don’t miss out.
Starting at £8.50 and available now at www.strangerscoffee.com