About Kenya AA Kianjiru
Latest arrival September 2017, a directly imported coffee and one of our top picks of the year from Kenya. Kianjiru is a small holder's farmers association that produces about 20 tons of high grown, quality coffee in the Southern slopes of Mt. Kenya in the central highlands just below the equator. Kianjiru is located in the Kirinyaga District at an altitude of 1750 meters, this area is known for its distinct high acidity coffee due to the rich volcanic soils and strategic location near a network of rivers.
Kianjiru produces SL28 and SL34 varieties of coffee with their main crop between March and May and harvest season from October to January. After harvesting, the coffee is wet hulled by a central pulpery owned by the village society which only processes ripe, red cherry. Once the pulping process is finished the coffee is fermented and washed and finally spread onto traditional raised drying beds.
Drying: Full sun
Altitude: 1750 meters
Varietals: SL 28 and SL 34
Cup Characteristics: Layered with notes of tobacco and lime with background of wild berry and rhubarb. Complex and tart, exotic but approachable.
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.