Kiambu has become our favorite region in Kenya. This is the AA selection from the single-estate producer Wairimu Muriranja. In this cup we find winey acidity, pink grapefruit, and black currants.
First Roast: 09/21/2020
SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian
1,650 - 1,800 masl
Hand picked at peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects and depulped on the day of harvest. Dry fermented for 16-24 hours. Soaked in clean water for an additional 24 hours. Dried on raised beds for 10-18 days.
This is a single-estate coffee from the producer Wairimu Muriranja. He farms 9 hectares (~22 acres) in Kwa Michael, Kiambu. Despite the changing profiles we have been seeing in Kenya, it continues to be a fascinating place to try and source from. We have started shifting more of our attention to single producer lots in Kenya, which will begin to give us the opportunity to work with transparency in both raw product variety separations and processing as well as pricing and logistics.
“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.
Batian 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.
Ruiru 11 is a composite variety made of many varieties. Catimor and a multi-cross selection involving K7, SL28, N39, Rume Sudan, among others (male parent). Ruiru 11 owes its existence to a coffee berry disease (CBD) epidemic in 1968 that lead to the loss of 50% of Kenya’s production. The crisis sparked action. In the 1970’s, the coffee research station at Ruiru, which gives Ruiru 11 its name, began an intensive breeding program for varieties that were immune to CBD. This led to the development of Ruiru 11, which was released in 1985.
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.