Thumbnail Filmstrip of Kenya AA Karinga Images
About Kenya AA Karinga
Arrived late October 2023, in Grainpro lined bags.
Karinga is a washing station in Kiambu Country, Thika District in the Central Province Kenya; in Kenya these stations are referred to as factories. The Karinga factory serves four local villages: Kimaruri, Kariungu, Gachuha and Mugalwa and is affiliated with the Gitwe Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd. At present there are 650 coop members of which 500 are active farmers. The most unique aspect of this factory is that it is located within tea growing zones. Most of the farmers here also grow tea.
Kenya has a unique double soak washing process. Washed coffee is distinguished by the clarity of the flavors and attributes that it can achieve. During this process, the sugars present in the mucilage are removed through natural fermentation or mechanical scrubbing. Fermentation can be done by stacking the coffee outside or placing them under water and allowing nature to take its course. After the sugars are removed, the beans then can be taken through a secondary washing to remove any additional debris, or taken immediately to the patios or beds for drying. During wet processing, the pulp is removed mechanically. The remaining mesocarp, called mucilage, sticks to the parchment and is also removed before drying. Mucilage is insoluble in water and clings to parchment too strongly to be removed by simple washing. Mucilage can be removed by fermentation followed by washing or by strong friction in machines called mucilage removers. The method and supervision of fermentation can make or break a coffee's final outcome. These coffee cherries were hand sorted by the farmers before they went into production. After their skins were removed the coffee was put into fermentation tanks where it was stored at least overnight, then washed, soaked and spread on drying tables. Once on the tables frequent turning is required until the coffee reaches the desired moisture level of 11-12%. Lastly the coffee, in its parchment parchment gets stored to rest until delivery to the dry mill.
Workers sorting coffee in its parchment husk on drying tables
Ripe coffee cherries being prepared for processing
This lot is comprised almost entirely of famed SL-28 and SL-34 varietals, Bourbon derivatives, that were developed decades ago by Scott Labs during the 1930s for the best flavors and are now being reproduced in areas around the world when conditions are right. These varieties are known for their depth, sophisticated flavor and wine-like acidity. These SL varieties have the potential to be exceptional when produced in the right place and with care. Kenya has become world famous for these varieties and the complexity of the resulting coffee. Top quality Kenya is on every coffee professional's list of favorites.
- Washing Station/Factory: Karinga
- Coffee Cooperative: Gitwe Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd
- District: Kiambu County
- Division: Thika
- Altitude: 1840 Meters above sea level
- Coffee Variety: Almost entirely SL28, SL34
- Shade Trees: Gravellea, Macadamia
- Soil: Red volcanic
- Processing: Washed
Cup Characteristics: Interesting and complex layered flavor profile showing aroma of fresh bread. Flavors of lemon verbena, citrus with lingering blackcurrant and black tea tannin tartness and bright, piquant notes.
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. Some may prefer to finish the roast at the first sound of second crack. Behmor users try P1 or P3, or, switch to manual and increase drum speed in the latter part of the roast.