The Story -
Kenya is an interesting place to purchase coffee from, as most coffee is sold through the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, a centralised auction system where coffee buyers can taste coffee, and then place their bids during an auction every Tuesday. Often, this means that the price of the best coffees in the country can skyrocket, as several coffee buyers fight to buy the best lots. On the flip side, however, this can mean more money paid to producers, which is especially important in seasons like this one when the crop volume is down 25%.
This particular coffee comes to us from the Kamviu Coffee Factory in Embu County, located in central Kenya, bordering the slopes of Mount Kenya. Here, just under 1000 smallholder coffee producers deliver their cherries to the factory. These farmers grow mostly coffee and tea as cash crops, as well as some supplemental horticultural crops that are often sold locally.
Nerdy Coffee Stuff -
After only the ripest of coffee cherries are selected at the factory, they are de-pulped and then fermented to begin removing the sticky mucilage from the seeds. In a process unique to Kenya, after this initial fermentation, the seeds are washed and then fermented for a second 24 hours. This second wash lends a unique clarity to Kenyan coffees and helps to highlight the vibrant acidity that they are known for.
In another step that is unique to Kenya, after the coffee is dried and milled, it is sorted by size. This coffee is an AA grade, meaning it is only the largest sized seeds. AA grade coffees are often the most renowned, and therefore expensive, however, they are many delicious coffees in the AB and PB grades, as well. With this coffee being so consistently sized, it becomes easier to get more even development in the roaster, meaning sweeter, cleaner coffee.
We purchased this coffee with the help of our friends at Crop to Cup, and paid $6.22 per pound. This coffee was a stunner on the cupping table, scoring a whopping 88.75 points!
- The commodity coffee price at the time of purchase was $1.04