Karinga is the last of the Kenyans before the new harvest arrives at our doors in a couple of months time. This coffee exemplifies why Kenyan coffee remains one of the few coffee origins that are highly sought after. A classic Kenyan profile encompasses bundles of fruit notes (blackcurrants, berries) with a solid body. Karinga showcases these attributes so aptly that having a brew of this coffee is such an enjoyment.
The Karinga Coffee Factory (wetmill) is located in Kirinyaga in the Central Province of Kenya. It is affiliated to the Gitwe Farmers Co-operative Society, consisting of around 600 farmers. The factory is surrounded by tea-growing zones. Most of farmers are tea-growing people, thus most of them tend to grow more tea than coffee. But the management is now encouraging farmers to go back to their farms because the price of coffee cherries is going up.
The affiliate members ofthe factory carry out all agronomic activities associated with coffeeproduction i.e. they source coffee from the Coffee Research Station and plantit according to the stipulated guidelines. Fieldwork carried out involves weeding, pruning, spraying, application of fertilizer, mulching and technical advice. Technical advice is offered through farmer training programs and field visits/days offered by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Compliance to the agreed guidelines is checked and supervised by the field committee which goes round the farms. They usually check that coffee is not inter-grown with other crops such as maize, though they do allow inter-cropping with macadamia.
In this cup, get captivated by the floral aroma, followed by a cascade of red berries and blackcurrants. There are subtle hints of floral overtones in the finish that softens the fruit forward acidity. The silky mouthfeel further complements this complex yet structured finish.
- Producers: ~ 600 smallholders in the surrounding areas deliver cherries to the wetmill.
- Wetmill: Karinga
- Region: Kirinyaga, Kenya
- Varietal: SL 28, SL 34 (99%) and Ruiru 11 (1%)
- 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.