Although this specific coffee is not an organic one (farmers in Kenya do not support natural forms of coffee to the same extent as farmers from other places), we still decided to bring this specific coffee into our portfolio due to the unique cup characteristics that it possesses.
Kenya AA Top EP GrainPro comes from Kenyan family-owned farms. The harvested cherry is delivered by farmers and processed at the wet mill (Factory), which cooperatives manage. Usually, cooperative members cultivate about 250 intercropped with shade trees on half-acre plots. It is outstanding coffee and one that must be tried. Delicious with a rich aroma.
The double-washed Nyeri coffee is a combination of two peaberry choices that come from nearby, different washing stations, or Factions, that are operated by distinct cooperatives. The Kiama Farmers Cooperative Society operates Kiamaina, and the Mathira North Farmers Cooperative Society manages Ruiruiru.
Peaberries are genetic flaws and tend to make up a maximum of 5% of the average harvest. Usually, coffee seeds get split during the early growth stages inside of the cherry, which forms two “flat bean”Peaberry seeds never undergo the split, and therefore they are completely round.
The smallholder like the ones that contribute to Kiamaina and Ruiruiru have a tendency to measure their plots based on the number of the trees there are instead of acreage, with each plot averaging about 250 coffee plants.
Many are using inter-cropping to improve the regions biodiversity as well as the security of their harvests. In addition to the coffee, they plant macadamia, Grevillea, and banana.
The auction system in Kenya increases the value of their outstanding coffees and keeps the coffee margins of the country very high, stable and independent of the overall volatile coffee market.
Coffee in Nyeri, like a majority of growing regions in Kenya, benefits from its location at the equator and the two distinct yearly rainy seasons, which results in the main crop grown during the winter, and in the summer a “fly” crop is harvested.
However, in recent years East Africa has been struck by climate disruption, and this year production in Kenya has been deficient compared to the past.
Originally early predictions appeared to indicate it would be a good year. However, frost in Othaya, occasional rains, and drought have cut the yields of both the fly and main crops.
This lot has been created on a blend of many common Kenyan varieties of coffee. SL-34 and SL-28 are two of the most highly regarded varieties that Scott Laboratories produced during the 1930s in Kenya.
Scott Labs does not exist any longer, but is now called National Agricultural Laboratories and is part of the larger overall Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization.
The SL-34 and 28 are both Bourbon derivative cultivars, although they come from different lineages.
SL-28 developing from a drought-resistant variety that was cultivated originally in Tanganyika, which was a territory making up part of what is now modern Tanzania;
SL-34 is a Kenyan mutation discovered near Kabete, and the crop excels when grown at lower elevations. These SL variants both display bronze-tipped leaves on their newest growth.
Two relative newcomers have joined the classics.
During the mid-1980s Ruiru-11 was developed as the result of trying to make a more productive SL-28 that was resistant to Leaf Rust and Coffee Berry Disease It as crossbred with different varieties including Catimor for its disease resistance) and Sudan Rume (for its quality), among many others.
The Coffee Research Institute, responding to qualitative feedback, retraced its steps used to create Ruiru-11, and tried to improve the quality of the cup without compromising its disease resistance. The new variety, which we call “Batian,” since 2010 has been trickly into production, with promising early results.
The Peaberry coffees such as this one tend to be high in density and small in size. It is relatively common to see a bit of broader distribution when it comes to screen size, also, give that peaberry isn’t a size designation but is more based on its distinctive shape. Although roasters often favor it, especially those from Tanzania and Kenya, the density, shape, and size may cause some complications when it is roasting.