About Kenya AA Nyawira microlot
Arrived March 2017, new crop, vacuum boxed.
Each year we go through an extensive cupping to select some great Kenya examples which we then import directly. Our selections for the season have just arrived, late August.
This single estate coffee comes from the Nyawira Factory located in the Emu County of Kenya. Nyawira is one of a handful of small estates growing and processing their own coffee in this region of the country. Due to its close proximity to the slopes of Mt. Kenya the estates have the benefit of fertile soil and a high elevation of 1400 meters. Currently the estate has around 3,600 coffee trees planted with a canopy of shade trees including banana and gravillea. The farms total production from this past year was just 57 bags of coffee.
Unlike many larger estates that are forced to send their cherries to cooperatives to be mixed in with other local estates harvest, small estates like this one are a very exciting trend in Kenya, allowing farms to grow and process their own cherry. This allows for more quality control at the farm level and opportunities for the farmers to cup their own coffees and make improvements accordingly. The quality of these micro-lots has improved drastically over the years and only seems to be getting better and more recognized. The sale of these coffees to independent roasters for fair prices has inspired the growers to increase both volume and quality of coffee produced. We are certainly pleased to be a part of these important relationships for the sake of the farmers and for our own customers.
Cup Characteristics:Nutty, almond aroma with sweet melon and stone fruit undertones. Balanced acidity with key lime notes, very long and dry finish. Sweet and clean cup.
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 inherit 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.