Exquisite, refined sweetness, bright and juicy
Elderflower, fresh citrus fruits, blackberries
Kenya, as a coffee producing nation, is unique for a number of reasons:
It grows Arabica varieties that were developed initially in the 1930s and remain ubiquitous to this day. Developed by Scott Laboratories, they are labelled numerically - the most widespread being SL 34 and SL 28, for their excellent cup qualities.
Because smallholders grow so little volume individually, many belong to a Farmers Cooperative Society. These democratically run societies own and operate washing stations called factories, which are centrally located in regional coffee communities.
Coffee is bought and sold via two avenues: Primarily through the national weekly coffee auction in Nairobi, where lots are bid based on quality, and the Second Window, a fairly recent arrangement where societies can sell outside of the auction directly with a buyer.
Coffee is processed mostly via washed fermentation that undergoes a “double soak,” contributing to the distinct vibrant and rich flavour profile so sought after by Kenya aficionados.
This coffee is produced in Murang’a county, a growing region in the fertile foothills of Mount Kenya, at Karugiru wet mill, (also known as a factory in Kenya). It is owned by Kamacharia Farmer’s Cooperative Society and has about 920 members.
Only fresh picked cherries that are perfectly ripe are used at the factory, as this is the first step to quality in processing. During the harvest, the cherries are depulped each evening to remove the skin and most of the fruit. The pulped coffee is placed into tanks of water to ferment between 24-48 hours then moved through water channels, where the softened mucilage is sloughed off. Premium lots are then rinsed clean and allowed to soak in fresh water for an additional 24 hours, hence the double soak, before they are dried on raised meshed tables. Finally, the dried coffee is sent to a dry mill to remove the remaining parchment and is picked free of defects.
This lot is also unique in that it is a rare peaberry grade (5% produced throughout the world). A peaberry is a single roundish seed, as opposed to the usual two flat-sided seed. Once washed, fermented, and dried, the coffee is sorted by size, whereby the peaberries are separated. Generally esteemed by roasters, their uniformity allows for more articulate purity of character.