About Kenya AB Riamute-Kiambu microlot
2016 crop arrived June in grainpro.
The Riamute-Kiambu Farm is located about 50 miles from Nairobi in Kiambu County situated in Kenya's Central highlands part of the former Central Province. Nairobi, Kenya's capital, is not far away. The farm is owned by the Faisal family and much of the farm's labors are overseen by Mathew Mugo.
The area is used to experiencing constant showers hence the kikuyu phrase 'kia mbuu' meaning the "place of drizzles." This farm is also known as Mama which in Swahili means mother much as it does here. The Mama reference relates to the fertility of the soil, which is a deep red clay. The farm sits at a high 1850 meter altitude (6070 feet) and is almost directly on the equator, located at 1 degree south latitude.
On the farm coffee trees are intercropped with bananas for shade. Coffee was planted in the early 1960s mainly with SL34 varietal (96%) and the balance SL28. These are the two most treasured varieties of Kenya, offering a range of juicy flavor and dry finish.
The farm comprises only 12 acres and total production of AB was a mere 17 bags. The majority of top Kenya coffee is sourced from cooperatives, or, factories in the local parlance; in these cases locally grown coffee is taken to the wetmill to be processed and marketed. We make a significant effort to directly source top individual lots that are separated for auction and every once and a while we find a single farm's output. It is very unusual to find a single farm that not only grows the coffee but processes it too. Such is the case with this Riamute-Kiambu 'Mama' Farm.
Cup Characteristics: Notably juicy and layered with tamarind, blackberry and blackcurrant flavors. Cassis is present and the mouthfeel is pleasantly tart and chocolatey. Long finish. Very classy cup showing the grower's skill at each level of production.
Roasting Notes: Beans are hard and dense and can be roasted to a variety of darkness levels. Most floral and delicate notes will be presented at City+ to FC range. The delicate nuances of this coffee will present themselves at lightly roasted levels but be sure to have a full first crack. Behmor users try P1 or P3.
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.