Batian, SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11
Stewed nectarine, kiwi, and brown sugar.
Coffee paradise: Home to the Kikiyu people, the Nyeri region sits at the heart of Kenyan coffee production. The idyllic geographic and climactic zone between Mt Kenya and the Aberdale Mountains is home to rich rainforests teeming with wildlife, eucalyptus and bamboo. As part of this mountainous ecosystem, Nyeri receives and contributes to rich, nutrient-dense soil supported by abundant fresh moving water that flows down from the protective mountains above.
Washing station and support: The Ndimaini washing station near Karatina town provides support and services to some 1143 smallholder farmers from three local villages. Farms are typically small and resemble more of what one might call 'coffee gardens'. Usually, only around 250 trees per garden, coffee is intercropped with corn, bananas, macadamia, and gravellea. Ndimanini takes support one step further, offering payment advances to support farmer family schooling and support for more traditional direct coffee farming input costs. The factory manager also offers annual 'best practice' training sessions to ensure care and consistency across coffees with the Ndima-ini Nyeri name on their bag.
A soaking step: Unique and almost ubiquitous to Kenyan coffee processing is a step known as the 'soaking step'. The process begins with the coffee cherry selectively picked, then floated and de-pulped, usually on the same day. The clean cherry seed is then transferred to open-air tanks for a fermentation period. This fermentation period ranges between 24 and 48 hours, depending on temperature and humidity. The coffee seed is washed thoroughly in water channels before being introduced to the unique 'soaking step'. The coffee seed remains here for 12-72 hours, depending on temperature and humidity. Following this 'soaking step', coffee is spread evenly on raised beds to dry.
There are a few variables unique to Kenya, but this one, occurring at the tail end of processing, seems to help accentuate iconic acidity, clarity, and that lightly flambeed stonefruit we can't get enough of.