Kanyi Estate AA - Kenya - 2022
On the nose: A broad spectrum of floral scents such as violet, lavender, blueberry and pomegranate flower.
On the palate: sweet yellow citric notes ranging from dried tomatoes, mainly blueberries, and currants, to yellow cherry tomatoes, lemon sorbet, and fresh dates. The sweetness of "cup griye", a Baylan Patisserie classic, covers the palate.
This medium, medium-high bodied coffee leaves the palate with sour cherries, sweet hot spices and flavors reminiscent of sangria. A well-balanced blend of floral, fruity and spicy, this one-producer-single farm crop offers insight into the future of high-end Kenyan coffees.
Mukami Mugo cultivates SL34 at his farm, Kanyi Estate in Embu county. Kanyi Estate is 1.2 hectares and sits at 1,100 to 2,100 meters above sea level. This Fully washed lot has rich berry notes that are complemented by dark chocolate, caramel and apple.
‘SL’ varieties are cultivars originally released by Scott Agricultural Laboratories (SAL) in the 1930s and 1940s. They soon became the go-to trees for many growers in Kenya due to their deep root structure, which allows them to maximize scarce water resources and flourish even without irrigation. They are cultivated with a serious eye to sustainability and Good Agricultural Practices, with minimal environmental impact where possible.
With help from Sucafina/Kahawa Bora, Mukami also has access to training about improved pruning, cultivation and harvesting methods. Kahawa Bora’s field staff have also performed soil analysis on small estates to inform correct input application, which helps improve yields and quality while reducing cost and environmental impact. This focus on high quality at all stages of cultivation and processing has increased cup scores in a short period of time.
Harvest & Post-Harvest
Traditionally, many farmers of this size in the country did not own their own processing equipment. They have historically delivered cherry to a centralized cooperative-owned ‘Factory’ (as washing stations are called, locally), where their production is combined with that of others from their region. Mukami has his own, small wet-mill where he is able to process his own coffee, ensuring full traceability back to his farm.
Cherry is selectively handpicked and then pulped. Coffee is then fermented for 24 hours in a small tank before being washed in clean water to remove any remaining mucilage. All wastewater from the washing process is cleaned to ensure environmental impact is limited.
Parchment is soaked in clean water for 24 hours and then transferred to raised beds where it sundries for approximately 7 days. As it dries, parchment is turned regularly to ensure even drying.
Even for farmers who may have their own processing setup, the dry-milling set-up within Kenya does not well serve small-to-medium size farmers. Dry mills have lot minimums, which are usually about 50 bags of parchment per lot. This is often unattainable for smaller farmers, necessitating that they merge their lots with others, losing traceability, which in turn which lowers their overall returns and removes potential for name recognition and direct-trade relationship.
To cater to single producer lots that are very small, Kahawa Bora/Sucafina has a separate microlot milling line that was custom-made to hull (remove the parchment from the green coffee beans) lots as small as one bag at a time. This line makes it possible for growers to maintain their own ‘brand’ when selling their coffee. We feel this is a push in the right direction for Kenyan growers to gain market access to quality-focused buyers overseas.
Kenyan coffees are classified by size. AA beans are the largest size. AA grade coffees are those that are 17/18.5 screen size, meaning that they are larger than 7.2 millimeters.
Coffee Grade: AA
Processing Technique: Fully Washed
Harvest Year: 2022
Producer: Mukami Mugo
Altitude: 1,100 m – 2,100 m.
Farm/Station: Kanyi Estate
Region / Sub-Region: Embu
Supplier: Sucafina Specialty