Ngugu-ini AB SEPARATION FIELD BLEND - WASHED Kenya
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Ngugu-ini AB SEPARATION FIELD BLEND - WASHED Kenya

This is our first Kenyan of the season, and our first ever lot from the washing station of Ngugu-ini in the community of Kirinyaga. In the cup we find darker fruit typical of Kenyan coffee, lemon-like acidity, and excellent depth and complexity.

Orders are roasted on Tuesday and shipped on Wednesday.
VARIETAL

SL28, SL34, Batian, Ruiru 11

REGION

Kirinyaga

ALTITUDE

1,600 masl

HARVEST

October, 2023

PROCESSING

Hand-sorted, de-pulped, and density-graded immediately upon cherry delivery. Fermented in concrete tanks for 18-24 hours. Washed and density graded a second time. Soaked in clean water for up to 24 hours. Dried on raised beds.

ABOUT NGUGU-INI

This is a traditional Kenyan washing station located in Kirinyaga, just west of Nyeri. Many smallholding producers deliver their cherry to Ngugu-ini to be processed. Most are subsistence farmers who grow a little coffee while having gardens for themselves and their families. Kenya continues to be a very challenging place to work, which has been made even more complicated this year by new government regulations and system changes.

ABOUT SL28, SL34, RUIRU 11, BATIAN

“SL” is in reference to single tree selections made by Scott Agricultural Laboratories in 1935-1939. SL34 has a Typica-like genetic background selected from a single tree on the Loresho Estate in Kabete, Kenya. SL28 is of the Bourbon genetic group, and was selected for its drought resistance as well as its extremely high cup quality. SL28 is one of the most well-known and well-regarded varieties in Africa. It has consequently spread from Kenya to other parts of Africa as well as Central and South America. Both varieties are non-hybrid and very susceptible to disease. 

Ruiru 11 is a Catimor hybrid that owes its existence to a coffee berry disease epidemic in 1968 that lead to the loss of 50% of Kenya’s production. The crisis sparked action. In the 1970s, the coffee research station at Ruiru—which gives Ruiru 11 its name—began an intensive breeding program of varieties that are immune to coffee berry disease, ultimately leading to the release of Ruiru 11 in 1985.

Batian is resistant to both leaf rust and coffee berry disease. It was created via single-tree selections from fifth filial (F5) generations from the male parent of some Ruiru 11 progenies. Batian is a composite variety, mixing three different pure line varieties. The varieties involved in the original crosses are SL28, SL34, Rume Sudan, N39, K7, SL4 and Timor Hybrid.

Pricing Details

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Farm Gate (Local; Cherry)

105 KES/KG

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Farm Gate (USD; Green)

~$4.80/KG

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FOB

$7.37/KG

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FOT

$12.21/KG

The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.