Roaster profile: Kiss The Hippo
One of the British coffee scene’s rising stars makes its long-overdue Coffeevine debut with a gorgeous Kenyan coffee that tastes like passion fruit juice.
Every so often you come across a new coffee roaster who seemingly appeared out of the blue and instantly made its presence known by winning one of the most prestigious awards in the specialty coffee scene. Over the years, I’ve worked with so many talented and passionate individuals and attended enough competitions to know that this is not an easy feat. Yet, when your business is run by some of the finest people in the coffee industry, you have a good shot at making your mark pretty quickly.
This is certainly is the case with London based coffee roaster Kiss The Hippo. This relative newcomer was only founded in 2018 and already counts two UK Barista Champions in its team, Joshua Tarlo and Paul Ross, and has many more accolades to its name. From cup tasting champions to Coffee in Good Spirits winners, the list is impressive.
I first became aware of Kiss The Hippo when its founder Can Eren became a Coffeevine subscriber and later become more familiar with it when I received a note from Joshua that he was leaving Origin Coffee, one of my favourite British roasters, to take on a new role at the Richmond based roaster. Maybe it was Joshua’s idea, maybe it was Can’s idea, but it didn’t take long for this exciting newcomer to reach out to us and suggest a collaboration. Naturally, I was curious to try their coffees and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they exceeded our expectations.
Kiss The Hippo is a progressive and mindful coffee brand that puts a great deal of work into sourcing only the finest lots from the most interesting producers that are precision-roasted on the most environmentally friendly coffee roaster, the Loring SmartRoast. Their mission is to be as transparent as possible when it comes to their sourcing practices while also taking great care to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible.
Their HQ in Richmond has a beautiful Scandinavian feel to it that uses lots of natural light, grey concrete and exposed bitch ply to create a warm and welcoming space where guests are invited to overlook the activity in the roastery through large floor to ceiling windows. I have to admit that I usually spend most of my time in East London where many of our London based roasters are located but now I finally have more of a reason to head across the city to pay these awesome guys a visit next time I’m in town.
When it comes to its coffee offering, Kiss The Hippo really tries to push the envelope by sourcing coffees that are incredibly outspoken while also genuinely reflecting the characteristics of their origins. During our most recent cupping, we had the honour to get a taste of a range of different coffees and totally fell in love with the outstanding Kenyan coffee from Tano Ndogo that we have chosen for our forthcoming May ’19 coffee box.
This coffee has an incredible profile consisting of passion fruit and strawberry that you instantly recognize in the cup. It’s made up of the typical SL28 & SL34 varieties that are native to Kenya but lower rainfall and higher temperatures have added a unique spin to this coffee’s taste that make this a total standout.
I’m thrilled to welcome Kiss The Hippo to our May ’19 coffee box where it will be joined by Shokunin from Rotterdam and Sloane from Bucharest who are also offering two totally exceptional coffees to our customers next month.
All boxes ship on 20-05