KENYA mburi Aa
Cooperative: Mirichi FCS
Washing Station: Mburi
Farmers: 1500 active members
Cultivar: SL28 - SL34
Altitude: 1700 - 1900 masl
Process: Fully washed with double fermentation
Harvest: November 2020 - January 2021
Cherry Price | FOB Price: 5.1 USD/Kg | 9.14 USD/Kg
Screen | Moisture | Density: 17-18 | 9.5% | 0.692 g/ml
Packaging: 30 Kg + GrainPro
Notes: Blueberry, red apple, vanilla, floral
Ikawa profile: KSC basic profile 50g #2
Mburi is a washing station or factory (as they are commonly called in Kenya), located in the central region of Kenya, more specifically in the county of Kirinyaga bordering the Embu county to the East, sitting on the fertile slopes of Mount Kenya at an altitude of 1,794 masl.
The Mirichi FCS manages the Mburi factory along with the Rianjue factory, which comprises 1500 small farmers or active members. Coffee is grown over an area of 114 hectares, with an annual average production for green coffee of 68,726 kgs.
Sorting cherries is the most important step in ensuring cup quality and Mburi farmers are aware of this fact. Apart from the handpicking and delivering only the ripest cherry to the factory by farmers, the additional cherry selection is also carried out at the factory before the coffee is pulped.
After selection, cherries are processed using a fully washed or wet method with double fermentation. Water is pumped from the Kii river to reservoir tanks for pulping and recirculation. After pulping, the coffee is dry fermented overnight, before it's washed in grading channels, then soaked for 24-48 hours in clean water, and finally spread out on raised beds for selection and sun drying.
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.