Bold Blackcurrant with a zesty lemon and lime acidity. Well balanced and sweet.
Our first Kenyan of the season and some things are just worth the wait. The Kamwangi Factory (wetmill) is one out of two wet mills of the “New Ngariama Cooperative Society” in Kirinyaga located on the slopes of Mount Kenya and neighbouring the well known Nyeri region.
Nyeri and Kirinyaga is known for coffees with intense, complex, and flavour-dense cup profiles. It is made up of mainly smallholder farms, each with some 100 trees. They are organised in Cooperative Societies that acts as umbrella organisations for the Factories (wetmills), where the smallholders deliver their coffee cherries for processing.
The soils around Mount Kenya are rich volcanic soils, mainly Nitisol. Nitisols occur in highlands and on volcanic steep slopes and are developed from volcanic rocks and have superior chemical and physical properties for coffee production than other tropical soils. Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes before depulping and 16-24 hours dry fermentation under closed shade. After fermentation the coffees are washed and again graded by density in washing channels and are then soaked under clean water from the stream for 16-18 hours. They are then sun dried up to 21 days on African drying beds. Coffees are covered in plastic during midday and at night.
Most of the coffee grown in this area is of the SL28 and SL34 varietals. Both cultivars have Bourbon and Moka heritage and are named after the laboratory that promoted their wider distribution in Kenya during the early 20th century – Scott Laboratories, now the National Agricultural Laboratories of Kenya.
The standard grading systems for Kenyan coffees is based on screen size:
E (Elephant beans) = screen 19 and up, AA = 17/18, AB = 16/17, PB = Peaberries.
This lot is comprised solely of Peaberries (PB's). Normally the seeds within the coffee cherry grow as pairs (back to back) and that's why they have one flat surface. Sometimes (about 5%) only one embryo develops and since it has nothing to share the space with it grows round and pea-like. Typically they're smaller too and there are those people that think they have superior flavour characters since they haven't had to share all the nutrients during their development. That may be true but of course the main reason they're more expensive than their flat-backed cousins is the fact that there is additional labour required in manual sorting to select the PB's.