Karinga AB - Kenya - Washed - Filter
An exceptional lot from the Gitwe Farmers Cooperative Society, which offers financial and agricultural suppport to its 500 small- holder farmers. Expect a vibrant, sweet coffee with notes of cherry, blackcurrant, and rooibos.
The Gitwe FCS is helping its members shift from growing tea to the more highly-valued coffee production. High altitudes and rich, red volcanic soil make this prime tea and coffee producing land, and this AB lot from the Karinga station is no exception.
Samwel Muteti manages the Karinga washing station, which is owned by the Gitwe Farmers Co-operative Society.
The 500 small-holder farmers grow tea and coffee in Gatundu, Kiambu County, Central Province.
This outstanding lot cups at 89.75 points.
The region is host to high elevations of around 1800 masl along with rich, red volcanic soils.
This lot is made up of SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11 & Batian.
The coffee is pulped and then fermented in tanks overnight, before being washed and sent to dry on raised beds in covered greenhouses.
Coffee Grading in Kenya
"Kenya's unique coffee grading system ensures each lot is uniform in size and shape, which allows for more even and consistent roasting"
Kenyan coffee is most commonly made up of coffee grown by multiple smallholder farmers and processed through a cooperative 'factory'. Once these multiple lots have been processed, they are sorted by size and shape through an array of different sized screens.
Aside from AA, size E for Elephant bean is the largest screen size. The elephant bean is a defect whereby multiple ovule develop in one locule, the plant equivalent of identical twins. This causes the seeds to form unevenly and wrap around each other. AA however, is the largest screen size for individual seeds and is generally regarded as the highest quality. This is not always the case though and we found that this AB lot from Karinga cupped a whole point higher than the AA from the same factory.
"The Gitwe Farmers Cooperative Society offers financial support and agricultural training to it's 500 smallholder farmers".
The individuals that make up the collective actually grow more tea than coffee. The Gitwe FCS provides financing to those who require financial assistance before the harvest is complete. There are a number of challenges, including lack of access to enough loan facilities and high costs of agricultural inputs. But the FCS is encouraging producers to shift to coffee rather than tea, since the value of coffee is higher, and coffee yields have been gradually increasing since 2012.
The affiliate members of the factory carry out all agronomic activities associated with coffee production like sourcing coffee from the Coffee Research Station and planting according to its guidelines. Their fieldwork also involves weeding, pruning, mulching and technical advice. Technical advice is offered through farmer training programs and field visits offered by the Ministry of Agriculture. The goal of the Society is to help their members produce more, high-quality coffee and in-turn, receive a higher price for their product.