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Notes: Raspberry | Rhubarb | Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice
Origin: Kenya (Kirinyaga)
Varietals: Ruiru 11, SL28, SL34, Batian
Producers: Rungeto Farmers Cooperative (Kiangoi Factory)
There has been a lot of great coffees from Kenya this year, and this is yet another one. We found guava and pineapple fruit, with loads of juiciness. This is also a delicate, elegant coffee.
The Kiangoi Factory (wet mill) is one out of three wet mills of the Rungeto Cooperative Society in Kirinyaga in Central Kenya. We have been buying coffee from the Rungeto Farmers Cooperative since 2016. The factory is Fairtrade certified
The factories in this society were recognised after liquidation of the famous Ngiriama co-operative society at which point the Kiangoi, Karimikui, and Kii joined to form the Rungeto Farmers Cooperative Society.
The farmers under the Rungeto Cooperative in Kirinyaga are located on the slopes of Mount Kenya and, together with the neighbouring region Nyeri, is a region known for its intense, complex, and flavour-dense coffees.
All coffees are pulped, dry fermented, washed and sun-dried
The description below is pretty standard for Kenya and will apply to most of the coffees across the different wet mills and cooperatives. One outturn consists of many days of cherry delivery. The qualities can vary as even within one outturn things will vary from day to day and between picking and collections. Much depends on the weather and capacity of fermentation tanks and drying space at any given time. Dates are not entirely accurate but they are pretty much in control and are able to adapt to the current situation and condition. It is fascinating that despite the sometimes lax approach to monitoring, they deliver world class coffees
The farmers from the community harvest and pick cherries in their gardens and transport the coffee to the factory for delivery and payment. The factory pays a small advance at delivery. The remaining payment will come after the coffee is sold. The better and well-managed wet mills are able to give more than 85% of the sales price back to the farmers. That’s after the costs of milling and marketing are deducted.
Process: Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and ove ripes by the farmers before they go into production.
Pulping: A 3-Disc Agaarde pulping machine removes the skin and pulp. The coffees are graded by density into three grades by the pulper. Grade 1 and 2 go separately to fermentation. Grade 3 is considered low grade.
Fermentation: The coffee is dry fermented for 18-36 hours in concrete tanks under a roof that provides shade for better temperature control during fermentation.
Washing/Grading: After fermentation the coffees are washed and again graded by density in washing channels. They are sometimes soaked in clean water overnight.
Drying: Sun-dried 12 to 20 days on African drying beds. Time depends on weather conditions. Coffees are covered under plastic during midday and at night.
In this area the flowering period is usually between February and March, following this the trees will be ready for harvest from October to December.
Soil: Mainly Nitisol, a red volcanic soil. Nitisol soil is developed from volcanic rocks and is usually found in highlands and on steep volcanic slopes. It generally has better chemical and physical properties than other tropical soils.