- October - December
Kenya Mandela Coffee Estate PB 2021
- FREE UPS
- 65lb Freshness
- Packed & Sealed
Mandela Coffee Estate has been a member of the Volcafe Way program in Kenya since September 2016. The Volcafe Way field agronomists provide unconditional, free training to participating farmers and their employees on best agronomy & business practices. Buying this coffee goes a long way to support the Volcafe Way program in Kenya.
About the Coffee
Mandela Coffee Estate is located on the slopes of one of the many hundreds of tributaries that come out of the Gatamaiyu forest reserve and wind their way down hill through the county of Kiambu into the Galana river, Kenya's second longest river. The Gatamaiyu forest is remarkable for the fact that it is only 40Km from the center of Nairobi and it has a permanent population of African forest elephants, not a different species but generally smaller in stature than their larger cousins.
The farm itself is intercropped with a number of indigenous shade trees. Its peculiar shape is the result of many years of investment and expansion in small neighboring tracks of land.
Mr Kiongo Njuguna - pictured above - is the owner of Mandela Coffee Estate. He lives a short 2Km down the road from the farm in a brightly painted yellow and blue house down a sloping driveway lined with perfectly trimmed hedgerows. It is below the house that the Mandela Estate Washing station, parchment drying tables and store are located.
Mandela Coffee Estate has two harvests in June-Aug (Early) and another in Oct-Dec (Late) 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. Mandela Estates production tends to lean in favor of the late crop. As a consequence, the quality of the coffee is of an extremely high standard. The typically cooler months prior to the late harvest allow the coffee bean to develop slowly.
The ripening of the cherry is closely monitored by the farm owner and when the time is right the red cherry is hand picked into buckets early in the morning and loaded onto a truck for shunting down the road to the washing station.
The harvested cherries are splayed out on a patio at the wet mill in the afternoon light, with under ripes, over ripes as well as any sticks and stones being removed before the mass of round red cherries are tipped into the hopper above the pulping station.
The wet mill is built on the hillside and uses clean river water (wet processing) which is drawn up and poured into the hopper on top of the heaped cherries, funneling them down through a polished chute into the pulping house where the outer fruit is removed between two rotating abrasive slabs driven by a the reliable thump of a brunswick green lister engine.
The 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 where 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 approval of the mill manager, 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, while the denser higher quality beans will idle slowly down.
Sun drying of the parchment coffee on raised tables is done under careful supervision, the parchment coffee is covered up whenever their 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 is bagged up for transport to the dry mill.
Region Kiambu County
Mandela Coffee Estate, Kiongo' wa Njuguna
SL 28, SL 34, Ruiru 11
October - December