KENYA | Kirinyaga | Washed | 88+

KENYA | Kirinyaga | Washed | 88+


Kenya, Kirinyaga (Washed)

Currently one of our favorite coffees; selected after a cupping with many many Kenyan coffees on the table. This particular coffee clearly stood out above the rest.

A Kenyan coffee that really gives you the impression of what Kenyan coffees can taste like, a true flavor and blueberry fruit bomb!

Cooperative:   Kabare Cooperative Society

Washing Station:   Karani Factory

Village:   Gichugu

Process:   Washed

Variety:   SL28 & SL34

Altitude:   1700 – 1800 masl

Flavour notes:  Blueberries, cocoa powder, floral notes, fruitbomb!

Cupping score: 88

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About this coffee

Karani Factory was constructed 1998. It’s operated by Kabare Cooperative Society and serves the more than 600 smallholder farmers who deliver cherry to the station. The snowcapped peaks of Mt. Kenya are visible from the factory and from many of the surrounding farms, creating a stunning vista.



Smallholder farmers cultivate coffee in the region’s rich volcanic and sandy soil. The area is well irrigated and verdant. Most farms are extremely small, about 20 trees on average and provide cash income for families.


Harvesting & Processing

Smallholders handpick ripe cherry and deliver it to the factory that day. At intake, cherry is meticulously sorted. All sorting is overseen by the cherry clerk, who ensures that only ripe, undamaged cherry Is received.

Once sorted, the cherry is pulped on the factory’s disc pulper and then density sorted. The pulped cherry is dry fermented for 16 to 24 hours. The skilled staff oversee fermentation and check regularly to ensure fermented is halted at just the right moment. After fermentation, the cherry is sent through washing and grading channels.

Parchment is placed on raised drying beds. Staff sort drying parchment to remove any remaining defective beans and turn parchment constantly to promote even drying. Drying typically takes between 1 and 3 weeks.

Kenyan coffees are classified by size. AB beans are those that are between screen size 15 and 18 meaning that beans are between 6 and 7 millimeters in size.

Kahawa Bora recognizes the importance of cultivating supportive relationships with coffee farmers and roasters, alike. The mill provides crucial services for the farmers and cooperatives with whom they work.

They provide key agricultural extension work, helping farmers improve the health of their crops, increase productivity and ensure the best possible quality. They also support innovation in the small estate sector.

Kahawa Bora also, more generally, lends their own expertise in quality processing to their clients, providing feedback and contributing to their knowledge of processing methods and evolving market demand.

Most small estate owners do not typically produce enough coffee to fill 50 bags with parchment beans, the smallest quantity mills will generally process. Before Kahawa Bora was established, mills and marketing agents would have to blend smaller lots from multiple estates before bringing it to the mill. This meant that coffee from small estates was often anonymized, which could also limit payment for recognition or quality.

Before operating their own mill, our sister company solved this problem by blending lots from approximately 4-8 producers living in the same area —such as with our Slopes of 8 coffees. This method also allowed producers to maintain the identity behind their coffee and gave them collective control over price expectations. Kahawa Bora’s microlot program is one more option that producers can choose along this vein.

With the purchase of the Kahawa Bora mill, it is now even easier to keep traceability intact all the way from the individual farmer who grew the lot through to the roaster. Thanks to the mill, small estate owners can receive larger payouts for to their high- quality production and link their name to their coffees for consumers to see.

For farmers, having their name and life story connected to their coffee, which is then purchased and seen by the end user, can bring many benefits. It means that they can nurture long-term relationships with roasters and increase the value of their product. For roasters, connecting farmers’ stories to the coffees they grew can create a stronger customer interest for specific coffees, added value and demand, and help finance successful long-term relationships with farmers

Though coffee growing had a relatively late start in Kenya, the industry has gained and maintained a impressive reputation. Since the start of production, Kenyan coffee has been recognized for its high- quality, meticulous preparation and exquisite flavors. Our in-country sister company, Kenyacof/Sucafina Kenya, works with farmers across the country to ensure these exceptional coffees gain the accolades they deserve.

Today, more than 600,000 smallholders farming fewer than 5 acres compose 99% of the coffee farming population of Kenya. Their farms cover more than 75% of total coffee growing land and produce nearly 70% of the country’s coffee. These farmers are organized into hundreds of Farmer Cooperative Societies (FCS), all of which operate at least one factory. The remainder of annual production is grown and processed by small, medium and large land estates. Most of the larger estates have their own washing stations.

KENYA | Kirinyaga | Washed | 88+


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