Super fresh fly crop arrival!
Machakos county is one of central Kenya’s largest, beginning south of Nairboi and spanning northeast along the borders of Kiambu, Muranga’a, and Embu counties, some of Kenya’s oldest coffee producing areas. Machakos is lesser-known than the highly competitive central counties of Kiambu, Kirinyaga, and Nyeri, and while it is commonly known as “Eastern” Kenya, it nonetheless is capable of producing excellent quality coffees, as it contains similar latitudes and elevations to the rest of the central area.
Notably, Machakos produces a fly crop (a second harvest in a one year period) as well, so fresh crop coffee in the early fall is possible here. Kaliluni Factory is the sole washing station in the Kaliluni Farmer Cooperative Society (FCS). The producer group belongs to the Machakos Cooperative Union, an umbrella organization that represents 28 societies in the county and offers benefits to its member commonly provided by 3rd party service providers elsewhere in Kenya, including dry milling, farmer training, marketing, and subsidized farm inputs like pesticides, fertilizer, and fungicides. Kaliluni is outside Kaliluni town, in the lower Machakos highlands.
Tasting Notes: Works well from light to dark, our favorite roast was in the medium ballpark. Clean, rich and exotic, a coffee you cannot mistake for anything else; a great example of the classic Kenya profile. Punch acidity with strong more herbal chocolate undertones.
Lighter roasting gets very front loaded with buzzy acidity, not intense citrus but will leave your mouth very dry, a bit floral in the aromatics, medium to full bodied with strong herbal notes that lean on the chocolaty/malty side.
Medium roasts smooth out the cup and bring better balance between light and dark tones, pops out a lemony floral crispness upfront contrasting the thicker tea like herbal tones. Leaves a linger semi-sweet malt tone on the tongue.
Dark roasts get some roasty notes mixing in, will still will have hints of buzzy acidity but mute some of the spice notes, accentuates the strong semi-sweet malt note.
Roasting Notes: To see this cup shine, one has to keep it before 2nd crack. Medium to low chaff. Darkens up quickly, will look a shade darker than it really is. If still seeing splotchy colors on a single bean, you are in the light to medium roast level, even though it will look more medium to dark. If shooting for lighter roasts, good to watch for the expansion in size, watch it darken by a shade or two, than hit cool. Does have some acidity, so if you drink it within 12-24 hours after roasting, a definite noticeable lemony sour tone upfront. With some extra setup it becomes very smooth and less soury at those lighter roast points.
1659 smallholder farmers organized around Kaliluni factory
SL-28, SL-34, Ruiru 11, and Batian
Machakos County, Kenya
May – June
1700 – 1900 masl
Fully washed and dried in raised beds