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Many consider Kenya the world's number one quality coffee producer, especially when it comes to fully washed specialty coffees. More than 700,000 coffee smallholders, with 1 to 2 hectares of land each, represent about 55% of the production, while the rest is produced by large farms known as Estates. The smallholders deliver their coffee cherries to the Factories for processing. The Factories are wet mills managed by Cooperative Societies that act as an umbrella for them.
Nyeri is located on the hills of Mount Kenya in the Central Kenya region. Together with the neighboring Kirinyaga, it is known for its intense, complex, and flavor-dense coffees. In the Nyeri area, the farmers can choose where they want to deliver their cherries, as there are many mills in the area. As higher prices reward the quality, due to the auction system in place in Kenya, the better Factories can attract more farmers by paying more and hence encouraging the production of high-quality coffee.
The Mutheka Farmers' Cooperative Society is one of these. It manages several washing stations in the Nyeri area, including the Kaiguri Factory. Kaiguri Factory is located close to the village of Kaiguri, east of the Aberdare Mountain range, and started its operations in 1969.
Cherries are selectively handpicked and transported to the wet mill on the same day. They are sorted at the wet mill before pulping to separate ripe from under- or overripe cherries. The cherries are then mechanically de-pulped using a 3-disc mechanical depulper. After pulping, the coffee is dry fermented (the water is drained off) in painted concrete tanks for 18-24 hours to break down the sugars, with intermediate washing every 6 – 8 hours: they add water, stir up the parchment, and drain it again. After the fermentation, the parchment gets washed in washing channels and graded again by density. Finally, the parchment is spread out on the raised drying tables. The drying time depends on the climate, ambient temperature, and volumes under processing and can take from 12 to 20 days in total. All processing uses clean river water from the Rundu River.
In Kenya, a "coffee lot" refers to a portion of coffee produced by a cooperative on a specific day, which is then delivered to the dry-mill. At the mill, the coffee batch undergoes several processes, including hulling, analysis (both technical and sensorial), and screening to separate beans based on their size and shape. Each lot is given an outturn-number during this process. During hulling, the parchment is removed from the beans, and they are sorted and separated according to their shape and size. There are different categories based on screen size: AAs are flat beans with a screen size of 17+, ABs are flat beans with screen sizes 15 and 16, and PBs are pea-berries. Additionally, there are lower-grade beans present in certain proportions. It is essential to note that screen size does not always determine the flavor attributes' quality.
In the cup: fruity! with notes of red fruits, such as blueberry and redcurrant, a touch of stone fruits. With an aftertaste of tomato. Sweet and lingering in the finish.
Minimum resting period: 7 days for filter roast.
|Mutheka Farmers’ Cooperative
|1700 - 1800 masl
|Fully washed, dried on african beds
|Blueberry, redcurrant, stone fruits, tomato aftertaste