About Kenya AA Kevote
First 2019 new crop Kenya arrival, a lovely lot in short supply.
Farmers in Kirurumwe Farmers' Cooperative Society planted their first coffee trees in 1950. The Kevote factory was started in 1957 by a group of 100 farmers. Currently, the Coop has 3 wet mills: Kevote, Kianjuki and Ngaindethia with a total membership of 4500 members and is located within Makengi location of Runyenjes sub-county, in Embu County on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya about 150km north of Nairobi City.
The Coop is managed by a board consisting of 5 members elected democratically during annual general meetings. Leadership of the mills is determined by the number of farms who deliver to the mill. Each of the first two wet mills are represented by 2 committee members and the third one by one board member.
Ripe cherries awaiting processing
Currently the Coop has 18 permanent members of staff who are headed by a Secretary Manager. The Secretary Manager oversees the day to day running of the Coop under the supervision of the board. The Society contracts an average of 20 casual workers during the peak season each year. The 3 wet mills in the coop have an active membership of 2,600 and about 2,000 non-operating farmers.
Depulping machine to remove skin from cherries
The coffees of the Kirurumwe FCS undergo traditional Kenya processing. Farmers selectively hand pick red ripe cherries that are delivered for wet milling the same day. The parchment is then fermented, washed and sun dried. Dry parchment is milled and bagged at Highlands Coffee mills and then transported to green coffee warehouses in Nairobi. The Coffee is then sold either through the Nairobi Central Auction or directly to overseas buyers.
Drying tables at the washing station
Other direct Kenya imports are due to arrive by sea in the coming weeks.
- Wet Mill:Kevote Coffee Factory
- Mill Owner:Kirurumwe Farmers Cooperative Society Limited
- Region:Makengi, Runyenjes, Embu, Kenya
- Elevation:1400 - 1600 meters; 4600 - 5250 feet
- Variety:SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian
- Process:Fully Washed
Cup Characteristics: Bergamot and an elusive orange and orange zest flavor peaks in and out, with notes of apricot. Very refined, clean and elegant cup with a long finish.
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. While the nuances of this coffee will present themselves at lightly roasted levels, 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.