Department and District: Nyeri
Altitude: 1700-1800 MASL
Varietal: SL-28, SL-34, Ruiru-11, Batian
Process: Washed and sundried on raised beds
Notes: Blackcurrant, aprocot, floral
At the base of Mount Kenya, fertile volcanic soil and freshwater streams fill the landscape. While fertile terroir is ideal, most would agree cup quality comes from Kenya’s notable commitment to processing cherry. The entire regimen is sometimes referred to as the 72-hour process, a triple ferment process where the third stage utilizes fresh water to remove any lingering fruit.
Farmers are encouraged to become members of a cooperative, which markets and sells coffee on the whole communities behalf. Most farmers in Kenya are smallholders and typically produce enough cherry for just a few bags. Washing stations are often called ‘factories’ and play an enormous role in the quality of the final product.
After picking, ripe cherry is brought to the factory by smallholder farmers, before it undergoes processing to remove the skin and pulp – known as the wet processing method. The nearest water source is the Kangunu stream, and the factory is dependent on electrical pumps to move water to reservoir tanks before using it for processing. Water is also recirculated for conservation. The factory is using a disc pulper with three sets of discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean.
After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before it is cleaned, soaked, and spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on the climate, ambient temperature, and volumes under processing, and can take from 7 to 15 days in total.
Kenyan coffee is undeniable: unique, powerful flavors that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Using our extensive network, we selected a small volume of the absolute best of the best. Flavors tend to run the full sensorial gamut — from dark fruits to refreshing citrus, from raw honey to dark muscovado sugar, and from a syrupy mouthfeel to a mouthfeel of fresh cream.