Kenya AA Kigwandi auction lot
Cup Characteristics: Sweet, caramel. Exotic fragrance with complex cocoa notes. Acidity is defined and the body is full. Dry, long finish. This is a big, nuanced and elegant cup.
$18.99 per pound
A direct import from Kenya, this new crop Kigwandi AA is top auction lot that arrived here September 2014.
Kigwandi is from the Nyeri district where the very finest Kenya coffees have derived. This year was a politically difficult one in Nyeri province as their Governor Nderitu Gachagua attempted to have the government take over control of Nyeri coffee processing. Instead of sending coffee to one of the 23 local wetmills - which in Kenya are called factories - he sought to have all of the coffee sent to one central, government owned factory. This has lead to a great deal of delay and resistance, and has threatened to close off the flow of exceptional Nyeri coffee lots. This Kigwandi lot was selected just before the governor's initiative was implemented though it and other coffee has been delayed in arriving to the US. Fortunately, our directly imported selections were vacuum sealed at origin when acquired.
This is a fantastic lot of Kenya coffee grown at an altitude of 1700-1800 meters (close to 6000 feet) in some of the richest red loam soil in Africa. In the best growing areas individual lots of coffee are processed separately from one another, cupped and rated for quality, then sold at auction to the highest bidder. Most farms in Africa do not process their own coffee but rather convey cherry to the factory. This Kigwandi auction lot is comprised of classic SL28 and SL34 varieties of Bourbon, and are grown under shade trees which nourish the coffee plants and provide habitat for birds and other species.
Cooperative: Mutheka Cooperative Society
Harvesting: All hand picking
Wet mill: Kigwandi Factory
Drying: Full sun
Altitude: 1700 to 1800 meters
Producers: About 900 smallholders in the surrounding areas deliver cherries to the wet mill. Individual lots are separated for auction.
Varietals: Mainly SL 28 and SL 34
Water Source: Kagumo River
Production: All coffees are pulped, dry fermented, washed, soaked and sundried. This extra soaking is typical of better Kenya processing.
The Kigwandi factory was started in 1982 under the Tetu co-op society, it then split into a single co-op, taking on the Kigwandi name. In 2003 it merged with 3 other factories to form a co-op society comprised of 4 different zones within this highly sought after coffee zone.