About Kenya AA Gicherori microlot
Latest arrival September 2017 in vacuum sealed bags. Our top Kenya pick of the year and a direct import. This coffee comes from the Gicherori Factory located in Embu County on the slopes of Mt. Kenya at an elevation of 1550 meters. The factory was founded in 1997 and currently has 1050 members. They currently receive assistance from Coffee Management Services (CMS), a division of our exporter's company, in an effort to increase coffee production through farmer training. Such training includes input access, seminars about good agricultural practicea, and a sustainable farming handbook that is updated and distributed annually. The ultimate goal is to establish a transparent and trust-based relationship with the farmer, helping to support the established coffee industry growth in Kenya while bringing high quality coffee with fair prices for farmers. Through the support the program farmers receive advances for school fees and farm inputs. The factory manager undergoes retraining each year by CMS and demonstration plots are planted at the factory to reinforce the best practices taught over the course of the past year.
This is a top lot separated at the factory and sold for its particularly high quality.
After harvest, ripe cherry is brought to the factory before it undergoes the wet processing. Waste water is discarded in soaking pits and is recirculated for conservation. After pulping, coffee is fermented overnight before it is cleaned, soaked, and spread out on traditional raised drying tables for 7 to 15 days depending on weather.
Cup Characteristics: An elegant coffee with citrus notes of grapefruit, orange, and green apples. Herbaceous and red win tannins with a super long, dry finish. This is classic Kenya, layered and with great depth and finesse. Classy 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. Although Kenya AA can also be roasted beyond 2nd crack it would waste the inherent distinct flavors of this particular lot.
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.