Kenya AB Rita
About Kenya AB Rita
Arrived January 2022 in GrainPro, new "fly" crop coffee. This is the smaller mid-season harvest. Kenya has two crop seasons, the main one of which is much larger.
This is a coffee picked from several small family farms throughout the Karatina region. Selectively hand picked cherries and delivered to the wet mill on the same day as they are picked. Further sorting is done at the mill prior to the pulping process. Only red ripe cherries are selected and processing uses clean river water that is recirculated before disposal into seepage pits. Sun drying is accomplished on raised tables before delivery to the dry mill for final processing.
Mugaga F.C.S is a factory comprising Kagumoini, Kieni, Gathugu, Kiambara, and Gatina. F.C.S has approx. 4900 members with approx. 1500 hectare under coffee. The FCS produces approx. 1500 MT of cherries annually.
Coffee production in Kenya has been steadily increasing since its start, producing 50,000 tons annually and employing over 250,000 Kenyans. The volcanic soils give the coffee a unique terroir that is high in acidity and reminiscent of some dry red wines. A government run system offers rewards to farmers for quality improvements which has led to exponentially better coffee.
- Country: Kenya
- Farm: Farmers delivering to Mugaga Factory
- Producer: Mugaga
- Region: Karatina
- Municipality: Nyeri
- Altitude: 1,000 to 1,300 meters
- Varietal: SL28, SL34 and some Ruiru 11
- Process: Fully Washed
- Harvest Season: Central Kenya: May - July (early crop) | October - December (late crop)
Cup Characteristics: Aromas of cedar and fresh baked bread. Flavors of black tea, sweet and sugary. Bright and juicy.
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.
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.