About Kenya AA Ndaro-Ini
Arrived late June in vacuum packed 30kg boxes. This is the last of our 2017 Kenya for the year until the 2018 crop arrives later this summer. By having been stored in vacuum bags the coffee is still very vibrant in appearance and youthful in the cup.
This Kenya AA comes from the Ndaro-ini Wetmill (regionally called a "factory"), run by the Gikanda Farmers' Cooperative Society. The Gikanda Co-op was founded in 1996, and runs two other wetmills, Gichatha-ini and Kangocho in Nyeri County. The Co-op has over 3600 members, although this wetmill processes coffee from about 900 farms. The Wetmill was built in 1984, and last year processed 200 tons of coffee cherries. The Ndaro-ini factory is unique in that they have a water spring source for washing their coffees.
Once picked, coffee cherries are brought from farms to the wetmill to be hand sorted, separating out the underripe and overripe. A pulping machine removes the skin and mucilage, and the coffees are then separated by density into three grades. The beans are dry fermented in concrete tanks for 16-24 hours. Later, the coffee is washed and sorted, and finally soaked for 16-18 hours. The first day of drying takes place on mesh mats, but afterwards the beans are moved to traditional drying tables for up to 21 days.
Coffee from Nyeri County has long been praised for its quality and flavor, and as such there have been a number of political issues surrounding production. Several years ago the governor of Nyeri attempted to control the marketplace by moving all milling to one central government run facility in an effort to maximize revenue. This met with objection throughout the growing, exporting and roasting communities and the program has largely failed.
- County: Nyeri
- Altitude: 1700m above sea level
- Coffee variety: SL-34 and SL-28 (Bourbon varietals)
- Coffee grade: AA
- Processing: Washed
- Harvest: October-December
Cup Characteristics: A very juicy, clean and delicate coffee, with aromas of rose and red berry fruits. Raisin, plum and other dark fruit flavors combine with velvety body to form a sweet and complex 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.