About Kenya AA Tambaya microlot
A direct import from Kenya. Arrived January 2015, boxed and in vacuum packages.
Tambaya is from the Nyeri district where the very finest Kenya coffees have derived. This year was a politically difficult one in Nyeri province as their Governor Nderitu Gachagua attempted to have the government take over control of Nyeri coffee processing. Instead of sending coffee to one of the 23 local wetmills - which in Kenya are called factories - he sought to have all of the coffee sent to one central, government owned factory. This has lead to a great deal of delay and resistance, and has threatened to close off the flow of exceptional Nyeri coffee lots.
This lot of coffee comes from the Tambaya Factory (or wet mill) which is a collection of family owned farms organized around the mill. The Tambaya Factory is managed by the Rumukia Farmers Cooperative Society. Tambaya is located in the Nyeri Central district near the foothills of Mt. Kenya and sits at the high elevation of 1900 meters above sea level (this equals about 6200 feet). The factory itself spans almost 260 hectares and the varieties grown are SL 28 and SL 34, both common to Kenya. The factory was established in 1982 and the production is currently around 140 tons of coffee. The coffee plants are grown on red volcanic soil and share the space with some patches of black cotton. Once harvested, which takes place between April and December, the coffee is then fully washed and sun-dried on traditional African-style raised beds.
Cooperative: Rumukia Farmers Cooperative Society
Wet mill: Tambaya Factory
Drying: Full sun
Altitude: 1900 meters
Varietals: Mainly SL 28 and SL 34
Cup Characteristics: Aromas of pipe tobacco, cedar, and caramel undertones. In the cup it is sweet with pleasant notes of green apple acidity and a silky mouthfeel. A well-rounded coffee with a long finish and hints of cocoa.
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.