KENYA Kiangombe AA
Cooperative: Kabare FCS
Washing Station: Kiangombe
Farmers: 6025 active members
Cultivar: SL28 - SL34
Altitude: 1700 - 1800 masl
Process: Fully washed with double fermentation
Harvest: November 2020 - January 2021
Cherry Price | FOB Price : 5.88 USD/kg | 9.34 USD/Kg
Screen | Moisture | Density: 17-18 | 9.9% | 0.705 g/ml
Packaging: 30 Kg + GrainPro
Notes: Cassis, lemon, sugar cane, peach
Ikawa profile: KSC basic profile 50g #2
The Kiangombe washing station (or factory as they are called in Kenya) is located in the central region of Kenya, more specifically in the county of Kirinyaga, sitting on the fertile slopes of Mount Kenya at an altitude of 1,794 masl.
The Kabare FCS manages the Kiangombe washing station, which processes cherries from 548 small farmers from the surrounding areas, who generally grow between 300 and 500 coffee trees in small plots.
When a factory processes coffees from many different small producers, sorting the cherries is the most crucial step in ensuring cup quality. Small plots give these growers more control to selectively hand pick and deliver only the ripest cherry to the factory, but additional cherry selection is also done at the factory before the coffee is pulped.
This lot was processed by the fully washed method with double fermentation, where a dry fermentation is carried out after pulping. Once the coffee is washed in grading channels, it goes to be soaked in clean water for 48 hrs to ensure that no mucilage remains on the parchment.
Farmers here mostly grow SL28 and SL34 varieties, but as with almost all cooperatives in Kenya, it can be mixed with other cultivars such as Ruiru 11 and Batian; Although the latter are present in a very small proportion compared to the SLs.
Despite its proximity to Ethiopia, coffee was not cultivated in Kenya until 1893, when the "Fathers of the Holy Ghost" (French catholic missionaries), introduced coffee trees from Reunion Island and planted them near Mombasa.
** Interesting Fact: The Bourbon variety was first cultivated on a small island that today is known as "Reunion Island". It is located in Africa, in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is considered a region of France and until 1789 its name was "Bourbon Island", in honor of the royal house of the Bourbons. **
In 1896, the first plantations were introduced in Kiambu - Kikuyu district, a very fertile area, which in 1912 already saw large plantations of several acres of expansion; there were mainly cultivated Bourbon and Mokka varieties.
While credit for the introduction of coffee in Kenya corresponds to Catholic missionaries, were the English settlers, who accelerated the importance of coffee in the Kenyan economy. Large-scale production of coffee and other crops, were heavily increased to export them into Europe, in order to pay the exorbitant debts generated by the construction of the railway connecting Uganda with the port of Mombasa in 1901.
After Kenyan independence from the British Empire in 1963, the long experience and extensive knowledge about coffee production was very well adopted by small local farmers, resulting in the high quality standards with which today Kenyan coffee is known in the world.
There are two particular varieties that attract most of the interest from specialty coffee buyers in Kenya, these are: SL 28 and SL 34.
The Scott Laboratories were hired to develop new cultivars between 1934 and 1963. The development of cultivars SL, was based on the Mokka and Bourbon varieties, which were introduced into Kenya by Scottish and French missionaries, from Yemen and Reunion Island respectively.
Today, these two varieties are responsible for most of the top quality coffees produced in Kenya, but they are susceptible to coffee leaf rust and other diseases.
Kenya has done a huge job, trying to find disease resistant varieties. The "Ruiru 11" was the first variety to be considered a success by the "Kenyan Coffee Board". Unfortunately, it has not been well received by importers and the specialty coffee industry in general.
By the end of 2010, a new variety called "Batian" rust resistant, and which some say has a better cup than "Ruiru 11", was introduced. We will still have to wait a few more years to know its full potential in the cup and productivity.