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 Karinga Coffee Factory in Kiambu County. This factory was founded in 1983 and is used and operated by farmers in the surrounding villages that are apart of the Gitwe Farmers Co-operative. This factory is new to producing coffee for the speciality market, as a lot of focus is still put on tea production, but nonetheless, they have been producing some amazing, high-scoring lots!
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 a PB grade, which stands for Peaberry. A peaberry is a coffee seed mutation that occurs in around 5% of coffee cherries and is when only one, instead of the usual two, coffee seed is created inside of the cherry. This leads to a tiny, completely round seed, packed full of sugar and nutrients.
We bought this coffee with the help of our friends at Crop to Cup, and we paid $6.21 per pound. On the cupping table this coffee really stood out, as it wasn’t the flavour profile of a traditional Kenya, and we cupped it at an 87.5.
- The commodity coffee price at the time of purchase was $1.04