Our last Kenyan release of the year is an excellent selection from the famous region of Nyeri on the western side of Mount Kenya. In the cup we find a lovely and lively acidity, raspberry tea florality, dark fruits, and a long finish.
SL38, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian
Mukurweini, Nyeri County
Hand-picked at peak ripeness. Hand-sorted to ensure only the very best cherries are selected. Depulped. Fermented for ~24 hours. Floated through channels to sort by density and remove remaining defects. Soaked overnight in fresh water. Dried on raised beds while continually turned and hand-sorted.k ripeness. Hand sorted to ensure only the very best cherries are selected. Depulped. Fermented for ~24 hours. Floated through channels to sort by density and remove remaining defects. Soaked overnight in fresh water. Dried on raised beds for while continuously turned and hand sorted.
This lot combines harvests from numerous smallholding producers at the Kiawamururu wet mill. This factory is located in the southern part of Nyeri. Nyeri was once considered by many to be one of the best and most famous regions for growing coffee in the world—producing varieties and flavor profiles virtually impossible to find anywhere else. However, Nyeri has struggled over the last several years with soil health, over-fertilization, and a significant increase in hybrid varieties. We are really hoping to see this trend start to turn, and we are doing our part in helping to encourage better growing practices. Given the significant increase in quality this year, we believe things are heading in the right direction.
“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 the Timor Hybrid.
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.