Another stunning Kirinyaga region Kenyan. Redcurrant, raspberry and pink grapefruit. Clean zingy and delicious.
This is a Crankhouse EXCLUSIVE. Yes our first coffee that we alone have on our offer list and that’s due partly to our close relationship with our import partner Cafe Imports and a little luck. Cupping through the fresh crop samples from them, this one stood out and I asked them to check availability. I was told that there were two sacks left and not wanting to miss out I booked them immediately, only to find out that there were only ever two sacks from this very small microlot. BINGO.
The Kirinyaga region is known to be one of Kenya’s premium growing areas located on the slopes of Mount Kenya and neighbouring the well known Nyeri region. The region is known for coffees with intense, complex and flavour-dense cup profiles and this small lot from the Wangerwe Estate doesn't disappoint.
Wangerwe Estate produces a small quantity of the highest grade AA coffee. Processing is performed in a one-disk depulper and water from the local Thiba river is used to wash the coffees after fermentation before sun-drying on raised beds. The soils around Mount Kenya are rich volcanic soils and well suited to growing delicious coffee. Kenya mainly produces fully washed coffees, and is considered by many as the world’s number one quality producer.
Most coffee in Kenya is processed at cooperative wet-mills (factories). Thera are some Estates that have small processing facilities of their own of which Wangerwe in one. For an interesting read on why 'Estate' coffees are dying out in this part of Kenya check this article: "Estate coffee farmers in Kirinyaga reverting back to societies".
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, measured in mm:
E (Elephant beans) = screen 19 and up, AA = 17/18, AB = 16/17, PB = Peaberries.
AA is generally considered to be the premium pick but not in all cases and for an explanation of why some folk think the PB is superior check our Kenya Kamwangi PB listing.