About Kenya Njawato Peaberry
New crop, arrived August 2016, vacuum boxed.
Each year we go through an extensive cupping to select some great Kenya examples which we then import directly. Our selections for the season have just arrived, late August.
This peaberry coffee come from The Njawato Estate in the Kirinyaga county of Central Kenya and is run by Simon Njagi Mariku. The estate is at an altitude of 1500 meters. The varietals grown are SL28 and Ruiru 11 and all coffees from this estate are fully washed. Along with coffee the farm also growns banana and maize which act as shade trees. The coffee is harvested between October and January with an annual cherry production of more than 75,000 pounds this past crop season.
Cup Characteristics: Caramel and vanilla aroma with flavors of dark cherry. Sweet and clean coffee with a mild acidity. Very approachable.
Roasting Notes: Kenya can be roasted successfully to various roast levels due to the bean density and high elevations where grown. Light roasting, midway between 1st and 2nd crack will produce a more acidic, delicate and flavorful cup; taken to 2nd crack the body becomes considerably more emphasized and the acidity plays a lesser role. But Kenya AA can also be roasted beyond 2nd crack to dark roasted, caramelized levels because there is considerable inherit natural sugar, acidity and bean hardness. Peaberries make for especially even roasts in drum style roasters because they roll; but this can be a problem in some hot air roaster because it's not as easy for them to be airborne.
Kenya coffee facts:
Population (2006): 34.7 million People
Coffee Production: 880,000 bags (60 kg)
Country bag capacity: 132 pounds - 60 kg
Domestic Consumption: 50,000 bags
Coffee Export: 850,000 bags
Cultivated Area: 127,000 Hectares (314,000 acres)
Harvests: 2 per year
- Main crop October to December
- Fly crop June to August
Arabica Introduced: Introduced from Ethiopia via Yemen at the end of the 19th century, by the Fathers of the Holy Spirit Congregation. Bourbon varietal introduced from Reunion in 1901 by missionaries. Kent varietal introduced early 20th century from the Indies.
Specialty Coffee Regions: North and northeast of Nairobi; high plateaus surrounding Mt. Kenya. Soil is volcanic.
Grades: AA Plus, AA, peaberry
Farms: About 350,000 farms with an average of 0.2 hectares (about 1/2 acre). 8 major preparation cooperatives.
Botanical Varietals: Bourbon, Kent, various hybrids (SL-28, SL-34, Riuru 11), Blue Mountain (from Jamaica).
One of the great coffee producers. Coffee accounts for 27% of the country's exports and half of their agricultural output. Shading, by banana trees, is a common practice.
Kenya has a weekly auction system that has been in place for many years. It does not provide transparency of revenues to growers and the system is said to be flawed by a complex web of middlemen. There are allegations of corruption as well. The government is working to develop a more direct model whereby growers can offer their coffees more directly to foreign buyers thus reaping a better price.