Once again this year we had the opportunity to import coffee directly from Kenya. We have a direct relationship with the top exporter in Kenya and they, in turn, work with the coffee processing 'factories' in the best growing areas. After cupping our way through many AA microlot samples, most of them very nice, we settled on our top picks for the season - Thunguri AA and Gaturiri AA microlots. We just finished the last of Gaturiri which received accolades from customers and became a special selection on another website that features the top coffees in the US. Both Gaturiri and Thunguri showed themselves very well that we knew right away we had to have them. Neither was in sufficient quantity for our needs so we bought both. While still a little pricey, top Kenya lots are considerably less per pound, by several dollars, then the prior year. A couple of years with exceptional rain had reduced crop size and spiked prices, but that situation is now settling down. In fact this has been a good year for Kenya weather and coffee production and farmers have had sustained good prices due to high quality. This is a coffee grown locally and processed at the Thunguri Coffee Factory, but the lot was isolated and marketed separately.
The Thunguri Coffee Factory is located in Central Province, Kirinyaga District in Kiini North
location of Ndia Division near Karatina town.
It was established in 1987 and sits on a 7 acre parcel of land serving Gathundie,
Gathiruini, Thunguri and Kaguyu Villages.
Currently it is affiliated to Kibirigwi Farmers Co-operative Society Ltd
whose membership currently stands at 800
The most unique aspect of this factory is that itís located within a tea growing zone and it also has a very active
The Factory, really a washed processing center, is at 1628 meters, about 5350 feet, but some of the area farms are higher still. Almost the entirety of coffee processed here are the classic Bourbon offshoots SL28 and SL34. After harvesting, all the coffee is delivered to the factory and undergoes the wet processing method. Water is pumped from River Kamukokari to the reservoir tanks for pulping and recirculation. After pulping the coffee is stored over night, washed, soaked and spread on drying tables to dry slowly in the sun. The parchment is frequently turned on the drying tables, then sorted and stored while awaiting delivery to the millers who will remove the parchment husk and prepare it for export.
Top lots are separated according to grade and cup quality and move to the auction block, where they are recupped. Naturally, the best afford the highest and active bidding. Our Thunguri AA lot is an example of the best coffee from Kenya.
This coffee shipped from origin and arrived at our facility packed in 30kg vacuum packages.
Cup Characteristics: We were wowwed by this coffee. Pronounced vanilla aromatics. Thunguri is tart, puckery and dry on the finish. Clean, extremely complex and balanced. Flavors open up in layers, revealing nuances with each sip. Blackberry, blackcurrant. A terrific cup.