Exquisite and full flavoured with a refined dense sweetness, bright and juicy. Flavours of manuka honey, blackberries, currants, blood orange, and purple florals.
In addition to its geographical terroir, Kenya is a unique coffee producing nation 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, it is sold through the national weekly coffee auction in Nairobi, where lots are bid upon based on quality. The other way coffee is bought and sold is via 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 by Gachatha Factory, located in Nyeri county on the slopes of the Aberdare mountain range, about 150km north of Nairobi. It is managed by Jane Nyawira, who, for the last 12 years, has gained a growing reputation for producing consistently exceptional coffees, and is known to pay higher prices to its farmer 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 AA lots are then rinsed clean and allowed to soak in fresh water for an additional 24 hours (hence 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.