- October - December
Kenya Chania Bridge AA 2020
- UPS Flat
- 65lb Freshness
- Packed & Sealed
The estate is named after one of the crossing point of the Chania River, which tumbles down through the sub alpine landscape of the Aberdare mountain range. The gin clear river which starts its journey in the moorlands above 3000 meters (10,000') above sea level is populated by small rainbow trout that were introduced to the waters by eccentric eager piscatorial colonialists at the beginning of the 20th century. The river plunges off cascade after cascade through the montane landscape which gives way to an impenetrable bamboo strata before emerging into the farmlands below where it winds its way east carving a deep valley that marks the boundary between the coffee growing counties of Kiambu & Muranga.
Altitude: The estate is situated at Approximately 1,500-1,600 Meters (5000')above Sea Level on the edge of Muranga and Kiambu Counties.
Soil Type: The estate benefits from deep red volcanic soils, rich in organic matter. The volcanic genesis of the soil are the isolated volcanic Aberdare range which are the highest edge of the great rift valley. The soil gives the coffee its unique terroir known as, "KI flavor" by liquorers which is just shorthand for Kiambu.
Varieties: The estate has 94 Hectares of land under coffee which is primarily SL 28, root stock with some grafting of Ruiru 11 dwarf variety
Rainfall- Approx 1,000 mm per annum. "Short rains" Oct-Nov, "Long Rains" Mar-Apr-May".
Kiambu & Muranga sits just south of the equator and as the earth tilts back and forth on its rotating axis the sun passes overhead each Spring & Autumn. As the sun tracks its way North & South between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn it brings with it a band of rain. In its central position within that range, the rains pass over region twice.
2019 was a very rough year with rainfall well below average across the whole region, in 2020 weather patterns flipped and abundance of rainfall fell through the year stimulating a rebound in production on the estate.
The estate is blessed with access to the Chania dam from where it can irrigate the trees during dry periods
Harvest- The estate has two harvests in June-Aug and another in Oct-Dec which are typical of the region and are a direct consequence of the double rainfall pattern, as each rainy period will stimulate a flowering of the coffee tree setting off the start of a cycle where 8-9 months later the ripe cherry will be ready for harvest. Chania Bridge being a at 1550 metres (5085') of altitude enjoys quicker ripening.
Processing Method- The ripening of the cherry is closely monitored and when the time is right the red cherry is hand picked into buckets early in the morning and carried to the wet mill on the estate.
The harvested cherries are splayed out on a patio at the wet mill in the afternoon light, with underipes, overipes and any sticks and stones being removed before the mass of round red cherries are tipped into the hopper above the pulping station.
The Estate uses clean water (wet processing) which is drawn up and poured into the hopper on top of the heaped cherries, funnelling them down through a polished chute into the pulping house where the outer fruit is removed between two rotating abrasive slabs
As the now exposed coffee beans tumble out of the pulper into a channel of water, the floating beans are skimmed off, and the sinking denser beans pass out through a hole in the bottom spilling into the fermentation tanks were they spend the night
The next day the coffee is handled to see if the sticky sweet mucilage has broken down, leaving a rough parchment coating, once "the feel" of the coffee meets the wet mill manager's approval, water will be poured into the tanks to thoroughly wash the beans.
Once washed, the sluice gates are lifted allowing the coffee to spill out into the washing channels, in here the coffee slides down the gently sloping tiled channel. Wooden shunts are used to repeatedly push the coffee by hand back to the top of the channel, this repeated action separates the denser beans as the lighter beans will race back to the bottom under the force of the gentle current, whilst the denser higher quality beans will idle there way slowly down.
Sun drying of the parchment coffee on raised tables is done under careful supervision, the parchment coffee is covered up whenever there is sign of rain or the sun's rays are too harsh. The coffee is regularly checked for moisture and once it reaches the 10-12% target level, it will be bagged up for transport to the dry mill.
What's in the cup: This AA grade coffee has been carefully screened and selected to ensure only the boldest, densest and best formed green beans are packed for shipment into hermetically lined Jute export bags.
Region Muranga County
Chania Bridge Coffee Estate
SL28, Riuri 11
October - December