This exciting single-estate selection from the slopes of Mt. Kenya is as close to pure SL28 as we have ever seen in Kenya. We are very excited about a Gesha separation from Ngaratua that is in the works! In the cup we find blackberry, sparkling acidity, and rose hip.
98% SL28, 1.5% Ruiru, .05% Gesha
Hand picked at peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects. Depulped. Fermented for 24 hours. Washed. Dry fermented for an additional 12-24 hours. Washed. Soaked in tanks for 12-18 hours. Dried on raised beds until moisture content reaches ~10.5%.
Ngarutua Estate was established in the 1940’s, when Kenya was still part of the British Empire. It was named after its founder: Paul Muthathai Ngarutua. The first coffee was planted in 1958, when it became legal for Africans to plant coffee; however, the ten acre farm was legally limited to a maximum of 100 trees. That rule was lifted around 1960, and more trees were planted in the 60’s and early 70’s. The farm was passed on to Paul’s wife, Dina Mukami Muthahai, who then passed it on to her son Peterson and his wife Purity. After university, Peterson—who is now the current Director of The Kenya Planters Cooperative Union representing the Mount Kenya region—and his wife fully took on the operations of the farm. They have invested heavily into the planting of more SL28 trees, and are currently saving to build better drying tables. They are extremely motivated producers, and it is an honor to roast their coffee.
“SL” is in reference to single tree selections made by Scott Agricultural Laboratories in 1935-1939. 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. SL28 is non-hybrid, and very susceptible to disease.
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.