A small holder production of of Kirinyaga. The smallholders own an average of 200 trees on less than half a hectare of land. Farmers in the area grow gravellea, macadamia nuts, eucalyptus, tea, corn, and bananas in addition to coffee. The factory receives field visits from agricultural ministers and agro-companies who offer training programs. The F.C.S. also provides prefinancing for farmers to allow them to pay school fees, production costs, and in case of emergencies.
Coffee in Kenya is typically traceable down to the factory, or mill level: Most farmers own between 1/8 to 1/4 of a hectare, and often grow crops other than coffee as well, which means they rely on a central processing unit for sale and processing of their coffee. Producers deliver in cherry form to a factory, where the cooperative will sort, weigh, and issue payment for the delivery. The coffee is then blended with the rest of the day’s deliveries and goes on to be processed. Because of this system, which serves many hundreds to several thoughts of smallholder farmers per factory, there is limited traceability down to the individual producers whose coffee comprises the lots.
Tasting Notes: A very clean, exotic and balanced cup of coffee. Best at the light to medium roast levels. At lighter roasts; one will see a stronger, sweet edged, lemony citric components with a slightly floral/fruity spin. The lighter tones balance with a chocolaty cup profile, hints of herbal, nutty and caramel. As one pushes the roast level darker, it flips to accentuating the darker tones, which can get pretty hefty and semi-sweet as you approach or touch second crack.
Roasting Notes: Clean, great screen and easy to roast. If you’re a Kenya fan, keep this lighter. If you generally like Central or South American coffees, medium to borderline dark will be the way to go or the acidity might be overwhelming. Awesome cup, but you may want to play with brew strength, if the cup comes off too strong and extreme, try brewing it a little weaker to have many more delicate notes pop out.
Country – Kenya
Region – Ngariama, Gichugu, Kirinyaga
Farm – About 1,800 smallholder farmer members of the New Ngariama Farmer Cooperative Society
Variety – SL-28, SL-34, Ruiru 11, Batian, K7
Altitude – 1750 masl
Processing Method – Washed
Harvest Schedule – October– December (main harvest); May– June (fly crop)