About Kenya AA Rianjagi
Arrived early September, new crop in vacuum packed boxes.
This lot comes from the Rianjagi Farmers Cooperative Society, a collective of farmers and producers working in the Embu North District on the slopes of Mount Kenya. There are 2100 members of the co-op, 1100 of which are active farmers. The day to day running of the mill is overseen by a secretary manager, who works with the co-op's 5 elected board members.
Cherry is picked on small shareholder farms and brought to the wetmill (owned by the co-op) for processing. Cherries are sorted, then processed and depulped with river water before being sundried on raised beds. Secondary (dry) milling is done at a KOFINAF coffee mill, one of the largest producers in the region. Coffee from this mill is either sold through the Nairobi Central Auction, or directly to overseas buyers.
There are several varietals in this lot, notably SL28, SL 34, Ruiru 11 and a little Batian, all hybrids noted for either their drought or disease resistance. They grow in deep, well drained red volcanic soil 1605-1625 meters above sea level.
- Province: Eastern
- County: Embu (North)
- Constituency: Manyatta
- Location: Ngandori East
- Altitude: 1605-1625m above sea level
- Coffee variety: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian
- Coffee grade: AA
- Processing: Washed
- Harvest: April-May, October-December
Cup Characteristics: Aromas of cola and black cherry. Buttery, unctuously smooth body with citrus notes, in particular lemon, lime and tangerine. Dutch cocoa flavors and mouthfeel.
Roasting Notes: Kenya can be roasted successfully to various roast levels due to the bean density and high elevations where grown. Light roasting, midway between 1st and 2nd crack will produce a more acidic, delicate and flavorful cup; taken to 2nd crack the body becomes considerably more emphasized and the acidity plays a lesser role. But Kenya AA can also be roasted beyond 2nd crack to dark roasted, caramelized levels because there is considerable inherent natural sugar, acidity and bean hardness.
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.