This coffee is on the more delicate side of the Kenyan flavor spectrum, with nuanced floral aromatics and a very bright raspberry lemonade center that lends itself to a gentle effervescent finish.
99% SL34, 1% Ruiru 11
Hand picked at peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects and depulped on the day of harvest. Dry fermented for 16-20 hours. Washed in clean water. Soaked in fresh water for an additional 24 hours. Dried on raised beds for 20 days.
The Kiunyu factory lies within Kirinyaga—an up and coming coffee producing region within Kenya. Due to the traditions and political involvement within Kenyan coffee production, it is extremely difficult to work outside of the established auction and cooperative systems. We have seen a significant change in the Kenyan flavor profile over the last few years, which we believe might be due to an increase of hybrid-type varieties and/or a change in the fermentation processes. We will be making our first trip to Kenya this winter, and hope to return home with a broad understanding of the current state of Kenyan coffee, its future outlook, and what factors are driving the changes we are seeing.
“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. As a non-hybrid it is 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.
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.