About Kenya AB Gathaiti Auction Lot
Arrived February 2015 in Grainpro, a direct import coffee.
This very well priced coffee comes from the Central province in the Thika district of Kenya about 30 kilometers from Nairobi. The factory was built in 1987 by Kenyan nut farmers and coffee production was later incorporated into the factory's processing in 2005. The factory, what wetmills are called in Kenya, is located next to the Chania river which is its main water source. There are a total of about 700 members each harvesting an average of 250 coffee trees prior to bringing their crop to the factory for processing. Farmers generally own plots of land ranging from a quarter to two acres.
Name: Gathaiti Factory (wetmill)
Altitude: 1650 meters; 5400 feet
Varieties: SL 27, SL 34, Ruiru 11
Harvest: October - January
Harvesting Method: Hand
Production: All coffees are pulped, dry fermented, washed, soaked and sundried
Process: Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. Coffee is fermented for 24 to 36 hour under shade. After fermentation the coffees are washed and graded once more. This is followed by a soaking in clean water for 16 to 18 hours, the typical "Kenya Style" washed processing.
Drying: Sun drying for up to 21 days on African drying beds. Coffees are covered in plastic during midday and at night.
This is very refined, delicate and sweet cupping coffee. You would be hard pressed to find a coffee drinker who does not like a quality Kenyan coffee; it is one of the most universally enjoyed coffees available and at a very attractive price.
Cup Characteristics: Kiwi sweetness with notes of cinnamon, bergamot and even some lightly floral geisha-like flavors. Raspberry tartness combines with green apple acidity to make for a lively coffee with a great deal of depth.
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.