- April - July
Kenya AB Kirimiri FCS 2023
Kenyan Coffee | Kirimiri FCS
The Kirimiri Farmers’ Cooperative Society (FCS) and its wet mill, the Kirimiri Factory, are located on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya, in a small area called Kanja in Embu County. Tea and coffee are the main cash crops here; they both thrive in the region’s deep red volcanic soils at 1,700-1,800masl and receive 1,200-1,400mm of rainfall each year. The main crop, which receives rain in the longer season from March to June, is ready for harvest between October and February. The factory also enjoys a late crop if there is adequate rainfall in the shorter rainy season between October and December.
Founded in the 1980s, the Kirimiri Factory now sources coffee from around 800 active members of the FCS. Each smallholder cultivates an average of 250 trees. Growers primarily produce SL-28, SL-34, and Ruiru-11 cultivars.
Kenya Green Coffee Quality
Green coffee from Kenya is graded by screen size. The grades range from E (Elephant Bean), PB (peaberry), AA, AB, C, and other subsequent lower grades. This lot is a collection of AB screen size coffees from estates and cooperatives, which means it includes a mix of screen size 15/16 coffee beans.
Washed Coffee Processing in Kenya
The coffee was primarily grown by smallholders – with an average of 250 trees each - who handpicked ripe cherries in the morning and delivered them to the Kirimiri factory (wet mill). The coffee cherries were subsequently disc pulped between two rotating abrasive slabs with the help of clean water, then fully fermented overnight.
The wet mill manager inspected the fermented beans for optimal textures of broken-down fruit mucilage and parchment coating before they were thoroughly washed. After pouring the washed beans down a sloped tiled channel, the beans were pushed repeatedly by wooden shunts back to the top to separate lighter and heavier beans. This ensured that only the heavier, denser, higher-quality beans made it into this micro-lot.
Finally, this washed Kenyan coffee was sundried on raised beds. Consolidated parchment volumes were then delivered to dry mills where the parchment was hulled, graded according to size and density, warehoused, and warranted for sale via the Nairobi Coffee Exchange.
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 Kanja, Embu County
Kirimiri FCS, Kirimiri Factory
SL34, SL28, Ruiri 11
April - July