DESCRIPTION: Medium body with a light molasses sweetness and a ripe blackberry acidity
REGION: Nyeri, Kirinyaga
PROCESSING METHOD: Washed, Dried on Raised African Bends
ALTITUDE: 1600 - 1800 meters
VARIETALS: SL 28, SL 34, heirloom varietals
Mt. Kenya’s southern slopes are home to thousands of small coffee shambas, or gardens. Shambas are nurtured by smallholder farmers, who deliver freshly picked, ripe cherries to their cooperative pulping factories. This coffee, crafted from fully traceable sources of supply in Embu, Kirinyaga, and Nyeri counties, epitomizes a typical great Kenyan coffee. Mt. Kenya is Africa’s second highest peak— reaching 5,100 meters ASL, and surrounded by ice fields. The combination of extreme altitude and equatorial location makes Mt. Kenya a particularly special coffee region.
Smallholder farmers, each with around 200 trees, work together in co-ops. Each co-op owns wet mills to process their cherries. Farmer cooperatives own most of the wet mills in the region, and receive freshly picked ripe cherries from their member farmers throughout the harvest season. Smallholders harvest their cherries and deliver them to the mill on the same day. Disc pulping and separation is followed by between twelve and twenty-four hours of dry fermentation, then washing and overnight underwater soaking. The resulting parchment coffee is very clean, and full of the flavors and acidity that make Kenyan coffees so famous.