Kenya AA Coffee - Coffee of the month subscription
We first visited the Kianderi co-operative in December 2016 and have been buying their coffee every since. For every 1kg purchased we donate 1 tree to the One Tree Planted Kijabe Forest project in Kenya and this is included as part of the Coffee of the Month subscription. We source our coffees from Kianderi directly and import these into the UK ourselves. To find out more take a look at our Transparency Report.
Varietal – SL28, SL34, Ruiru and Batian
Preparation – Washed
Location – Kianderi, Kirinyaga
Altitude – 1600+ masl
Importer - Horsham Coffee Roaster
Kianderi is a co-operative of coffee producers located in the Kirinyaga district south of mount Kenya. We've been buying coffee from them since 2016 and this year we had to purchase and import the coffee entirely ourselves which presented a few interesting challenges!
Kianderi is a washing station linked to the larger Inoi co-operative. About 500 coffee producing farmers delivery their cherry to the washing station and are paid cash on delivery. Kenya coffee is usually produced by small hold farmers often with just a few hundred trees who will harvest from their trees every few days and deliver to a centralized collection point or washing station for processing.
Harvesting and Processing:
Kenya is famous for its excellent SL28 and 34 varietals. These varietals date back to the 1930's and were selected for cultivation in Kenya as it was believed that they had great potential in the Kenya climate and volcanic soil. These two varietals produce coffees of very high quality with high yields and trees can continue to produce great coffee for many years, some Kenyan trees are over 60 years old and still productive. They are very susceptible to disease and this can be very challenging for farmers.
A small amount of Batian and Ruiru 11 is also grown by most farmers. These are new hybrid varietals containing elements of SL28 and 34 but have been cross with varietals that are more resistant to disease.
After harvesting coffee is delivered and farmers are paid in cash (usually followed by an end of season bonus) and coffee is prepared for processing. The coffee is first pulped and Kianderi use a long 48 hour extended dry fermentation method. After fermentation, the coffee is washed and graded in grading channels:
This grading method uses water to separate coffee based on density with better quality, heavy coffee sinking to the bottom. This will be kept separate and after washing will be transferred to raised drying tables:
During the drying stage coffee is often hand sorted to remove any further defects and covered during the day to protect the coffee from harsh direct sunlight. Once the coffee has dried to about 12% moisture content it will be moved to a storage area and allowed to rest before being taken to the local dry mill for processing.
Dry milling operations in Kenya are very impressing and fitted with some of the best technology for size, density and quality sorting including the removal of defects. The incredible sorting is one of the things we love about Kenyan coffees! This year we bought both a PB and AA microlot. We are featuring the AA in the subscription, these are large size beans and tend to be the most expensive.
Dry mill with size and gravity seperator:
The dry mill will separate the coffee into a wide range of different bean sizes and remove any contamination and bad quality coffee beans that have made it through the process.
This is a great example of a wonderful Kenya AA coffee with well balanced, clean flavours. You can expect juicy fruit flavours that include blackcurrant, rhubarb, sweet citrus and wonderful brown sugar sweetness.