KENYA KUTERE AA
Origin: Western Kenya
Cooperative: Kikai FCS
Wet-mill: Kutere Factory
Cultivars: SL28 & SL34
Altitude: 1625 – 1950 masl
Process: Fully washed, with double fermentation and sundried in african beds
Harvest: November 2016 - January 2017
Delivery: Barcelona & Santiago
Packaging: 60 Kg w/ GrainPro
Notes: Blackcurrant, red grapes, dark chocolate, winey
Roast Degree: City+ (recommended)
Kutere Factory is located in far western Kenya within Bungoma district, on the southern slopes of Mt. Elgon (4321 m) and lying at the Kenya – Uganda border. It is a member of the Kikai Farmers Cooperative Society.
Farmers in Kikai planted their first coffee trees in 1959. The Coop has 2 wet mills namely Kikai and Kutere. This 2 Wet mills together have a membership of 2333 farmers. The area is inhabited by the Bukuso tribe, one of the 17 main tribes of East Africa, and they speak the Bukuso dialect.
The area has rich black volcanic soils that are suitable for growing high quality coffee with very good yields. The area also receives over 1500 mm of rain in a year, mostly between the months of March and August.
To provide access to clean water, the Kikai Water Project has been implemented, which also protects the existing water spring at Kutere. Reinforcements around the water spring stops direct interference, followed by the provision of a water point about 300 meters away. This benefits 300 farmers’ households and can be extended to reach the first wet mill 300 meters away. The first stand will be constructed on a local church compound. The project will benefit the community in future extension downslope to other community facilities such as Kikai Primary School, Kikai Boys & Kikai Girls School, comprising a total of 1,860 students.
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.