Our Kenya Kirinyaga Kathare AB comes from Kirinyaga County, home to Mount Kenya and within Kenya’s former Central Province just north of Nairobi. This lot is comprised of Ruiru 11 and traditional SL34 arabica varieties. Thanks to Mt. Kenya, the region has a plentiful mineral-rich volcanic soil. This combined with ideal elevations and a mild climate, Kirinyaga is well suited for the production of high quality arabica coffee. Our Kenya Kirinyaga has a raspberry and black currant aroma with a pleasant smokiness. In the cup it has notes of raspberry and citrus with peppery accents, medium body and a great mouth feel.
Like other counties in the Mount Kenya vicinity, agriculture is Kirinyaga’s main source of commerce. While perhaps best known for rice production, coffee and tea are also primary crops grown. Local farmers produce corn, beans, tomatoes, and an assortment of other crops on small scale plots. Kirinyaga County has a fairly large population of approximately 610,000 and covers over 365,000 acres. The county’s northwestern border touches Nyeri County, which is another major agricultural region and coffee producer. There is also fishing at Sagana along the River Sagana.
Kerinyaga lies a short distance north of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, and with Mt. Kenya and Aberdare National Park within its borders, it’s become a popular tourism hub, nestled in between a bit of everything in Central Kenya. Like Mt. Kenya, the Aberdare Ranges were formed eons ago from now extinct volcanic activity. Visitors here enjoy spectacular views of the Nyeri hills and valleys, Mt. Kenya to the east, and the Great Rift Valley to the west. Aberdare Park features a number of clear water streams and breathtaking waterfalls, including the incredible Zaina, Karuru, and Gura Falls. Each of these natural wonders feature mesmerizing drops, respectively ranging from 459’ to 892’ to 1,000 feet!! Aberdare Park is also home to large numbers of endangered species like the black rhino, black leopard, African elephant, and bongo antelope.
Kenya has long been established as a leader in high-grade East African arabica—its best lots are famed for their fruity, clean, complex profiles, offering balance and pronounced tasting notes of everything from berries and stone fruit to sweet citrus, rightly fetching a handsome auction price. The Nairobi Coffee Exchange auctions are a quality based payment system that functions as the nerve center of a well oiled industry built upon decades of lab-based agri-research, applied farming and a strong network of cooperatives. At the exchanges small farmers have a ‘seat at the table’ so to speak, where they can access a wide range of international buyers who have the will and capital to outbid one another in the perennial quest for a perfect cup.
Truth be told, Kenya’s growers are owed much of today’s industry praise; for generations they have pushed the envelope and tested the limits of farming and processing capabilities in order to embrace advances in growing science. The main growing regions extend from the 17,000 foot central peak of Mount Kenya all the way to the outskirts of the capital city of Nairobi to the south. Another portion of arabica farmlands lie on the slopes of Mt. Elgon, against Kenya’s western border with Uganda.
|Producer:||Small Farm Holders|
|Variety:||Ruiru 11, SL34|
|Processing:||Washed & Sun Dried|
|Altitude:||3,937 – 5,905 ft (1200 - 1800m)|
|Coffee Grading:||AB (15/16 screen)|
|Harvest:||Apr - Sep|