KENYA KIRIMIRI AB
Origin: Central Kenya
Cooperative: New Kirimiri FCS
Wet-mill: Kirimiri Factory
Cultivars: SL28, SL34 & Ruiru11 (<5%)
Altitude: 1520 – 1850 masl
Process: Fully washed, with double fermentation and sundried in african beds
Harvest: November 2016 - January 2017
Warehouse: Only Santiago
Packaging: 60 Kg w/ GrainPro
Notes: Strawberry, peach, nutmeg, floral
Ikawa profile: Available soon
Espresso?: Perfect for espresso!
Kirimiri Factory is located on the South Eastern slopes of Mt Kenya (5199 m) near the Kirimiri Forest, within the Embu district. It is a member of the New Kirimiri Farmers Cooperative Society.
The Cooperative has 850 active members in an estimated cultivated area of 91 hectares. The annual production of the Coop. reaches 39503 Kg.
Soils are red volcanic which are deeply rich in organic matter. The annual average rainfall is 1115 mm approx., falling in a bimodal pattern with two distinct wet seasons per year.
Kirimiri Forest Is an area recognised as an Ecologically Sensitive Site in Africa. There are a variety of rare indigenous and medicinal trees that continue to face the threat of deforestation. The predominant languages spoken are Kiembu, Swahili, and English. The Hill is culturally famous as a hideout for Mau Mau fighters including Embu's most venerated fighter General Kubu Kubu.
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.