Kenya is an oddity. Bordering the birthplace of coffee, yet so different. The characteristics that we are accustomed to in Kenya coffees have been dominated by SL (Scottish laboratories) varietals, Initially planted as late as 1900 and beyond. The SL28 is probably the most known and related to the blackcurranty nature of great quality Kenyas. For the record…SL28 + Kenya = Not necessarily blackcurranty coffee.
This year we wanted to look at Kenya coffee in a different way as we really buy it for the few and that’s hard not to have the same coffee as everyone around us. So I am pretty happy on various levels. We love this coffee. It is everything we love about great Kenya coffee. It’s not going to be everywhere. Until we can work out how to develop a better market for great coffee in Kenya, this is the best we can do at the moment!
We have bought a meaningful quantity of Karie as it has been our absolute favourite in pre-shipment samples and has just delivered beautifully.
Kenya Karie Mill; Rutuma Farmers Co-operative Society
Fully washed and dried on raised beds.
Average altitude: 1900 Meters above sea level.
Area: Nyeri, Central Kenya
This mill takes in the production of up to 700 small farmers each with an average of about 1 hectare of ground.
Cup profile: Grapefruit enveloped blackcurrants. Long. Juicy. Intense.
Recipe: 17g/30g in 30-35 secs
So this might look complicated! The reality is that although we could have just roasted this as an omni the incredible sweetness in the filter would be lost. Our espresso roast is literally a twitch more developed than the filter roast. I guess I am daring you to try and cup side by side and agree with me….or differ of course. Kenya in espresso is a delicate affair or should attempt to be.
Karie stands out, due to its strict quality driven rules. Cherries are processed the same day they are picked. Everything is hand-picked and coffee can be rejected at the mill by the “Cherry Clerk” if under-ripe cherries are delivered. Rejected coffee in Kenya has a really low price (also known as Mbuni) which is broadly referred to as a natural. Don’t get excited about this though, this is coffee for the internal market and freeze-drying, not boutique micro-lots of loveliness.
Many of the producers who send coffee to the mill, grow other things, such as food crops and tea.
**In Kenya what is referred to as a (wet or dry) mill everywhere else, is known as a factory.