- April - July
Kenya AA Tatu Coffee Estate 2023
Tatu Coffee Estate Green Coffee Beans
Tatu Coffee Estate spans 907 hectares in a region 10 kilometers west of Ruiru Town in Kiambu County. Nearly 460 hectares are dedicated to coffee production with the majority of it being SL-28 coffee variety trees, Ruiru-11 trees, and small percentages of K7 and Batian. Around 377 hectares form the mulch crop area, 17 hectares are preserved forests, and the remaining 53 hectares are made up of water bodies and infrastructure. The estate employs 80 permanent workers and from 200-1,200 non-permanent workers per day, depending on the season.
Tatu’s rolling and undulating hills span 1,570 to 1,700masl, with a mix of deep red volcanic soil and loamy, sandy soils. The land enjoys two rainy seasons, one from March to May and another from October to December. This coincides with the main harvest between October to December and a smaller early crop between April and July.
Kenyan Green Coffee Quality
Green coffee from Kenya is graded by screen size, not necessarily by cup quality or defect count. The grades range from E (Elephant Bean), PB (peaberry), AA, AB, C, and other subsequent lower grades. This AA screen size coffee comprises large, dense green coffee beans at screen size 17/18.
Washed Process Coffee in Kenya
At the Tatu Coffee Estate, only ripe red cherries are handpicked to ensure maximum quality and prime grades. After the daily harvest, the cherries undergo washed processing on the estate and are pulped, fermented, and soaked in clean water. The beans are then laid out on drying tables in the sun until they reach the correct moisture level for storage. After drying, they are packed into well-aerated conditioning bins until the coffee is ready for milling.
Tatu Coffee Estate pays extra attention to water conservation and recirculates the water used for processing in economical but hygienic ways. The estate also has backup fuel and electric energy sources when the weather is not conducive to standard sun-drying procedures.
Kenyan Coffee Beans
Although Kenya and Ethiopia share a border, their coffee histories have little in common. French missionaries introduced coffee to Kenya in 1893. Coffee production expanded mainly on large estates. Green coffee from Kenya could only be traded through the national auction until 2006 when new legislation made it possible for producers to sell directly to buyers.
Kenyan coffee production has upheld quality and consistency throughout the years with detail-oriented management at the washing stations. Over 600,000 smallholder farmers nationwide are organized into Farmer Cooperative Societies (FCS) that oversee traceability and quality control for its membership body.
Kenya green coffee beans are celebrated for their bold, fruit-forward flavors that pack a punch in complex acidity. SL-28 and SL-34 are two of the most well-known coffee varieties grown in Kenya. The signature varietals were developed by Scott Agricultural Laboratories (hence, SL) in the 1930s for drought resistance, exceptional cup quality, and large yield at high altitudes. After a coffee berry disease (CBD) epidemic in 1968, the CBD-resistant Ruiru-11 coffee variety was developed and quickly adopted throughout the country.
Region Ruiru, Kiambu County
Tatu Coffee Estate
SL28, Ruiru 11, K7, Batian
April - July