Kenya Kabingara

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There is one coffee origin that tends to stand out for the uniqueness of its flavours from other countries. Besides Ethiopia, many find Kenyan coffee compelling and demand for coffee from this country seems to always outstrip its supply. Kenya is blessed with the terroir and climate for growing top grade coffee, but one still need to pick the gems amongst the many lots produced by the different cooperatives. Thanks to our partners at Nordic Approach, we managed to secure one of these gems this year.

The Kabingara Factory (wetmill) is one out of two wet mills of the Ka­rithati Cooperative Society in Kirinyaga in Central Kenya. Kirinyaga is located on the slopes of Mount Kenya and together with the neighbor­ing region Nyeri, it is known for coffees with most intense, complex, and flavor-dense cup profiles worldwide. It is made up of mainly smallholder farms, each with some 100 trees. The farmers are organized in Coop­erative Societies that acts as umbrella organizations for the Factories (wetmills), where the smallholders deliver their coffee cherries for pro­cessing.

Kirinyaga has a mix of smallholders and block holders with small to me­dium farms. Those that do not have their own processing equipment delivers cherries to their local Cooperative. Many of the farmers are sur­rounded by several wetmills. They are free to choose where they want to deliver their cherries as members. Due to the traditional auction system in Kenya, quality is rewarded with higher prices. The better factories will then attract more farmers by producing coffee getting the highest prices, as well as giving high payback rate to the farmers. This can in some cases be about 90% of the sales price after cost of marketing and preparation is deducted.

Kabingara is the first of our Kenyan line-up from this year’s harvest. Coffees from this country has never failed to amaze us, usually associated with intense fruit and berry notes, reminiscent of Ribena in this part of the world.

We find this a really juicy cup showcasing an array of prunes and currants that is also wonderfully balanced by a big brown sugar sweetness. Lovely floral undertones as the cup cools, coupled by an impressive body. A true classic beauty!

We only have a small quantity of this gem, so don’t wait too long before grabbing a a bag.

  • Producers: ~ 400 smallholders in the surrounding areas deliver cherries to the wetmill.
  • Wetmill: Kabingara
  • Cooperative: Karithati Cooperative Society
  • Region: Kirinyaga, Kenya
  • Varietal: SL 28, SL 34 and some Ruiru 11
  • Altitude: 1850 m asl
  • Processing: All coffees are pulped, dry fermented, washed, soaked and sun-dried. Cherries are hand-sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. A disc pulping machine removes the skin and pulp. The coffees are graded by density in to 3 grades by the pulper. Grade 1 and 2 go separately to fermentation. Grade 3 is considered low grade. The coffee is fermented for 16-24 hours under closed shade. After fermentation the coffees are washed and again graded by density in washing channels and are then soaked under clean water for 16-18 hours. The coffee is then sun-dried for up to 21 days on African drying beds. Coffees are covered in plastic during midday and at night.

Available on in store or on web.

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