Kenyan coffees are grown on rich volcanic soils found in the highlands between 1400 to 2000 meters above sea level. The climate is never hotter than an average European summer and never cooler than the best kind of European spring with a temperature range not more than 19C. Rainfall is well distributed throughout the year where coffee is grown with an annual precipitation not less that 1000 mm and deep well-drained red loam soils. These conditions make most of the districts in Kenya where coffee is grown unique in the world. There are broad, gently rounded ridges, sloping not too steeply into valleys which run swift perennial streams. The red volcanic soil is of great depth and fertility on the slopes ensuring good drainage.
This coffee is sourced from family-owned farms organized around the Kiamaina Factory (wet mill) in Nyeri County. Generally these smallholders cultivate approximately 250 coffee trees on half-acre plots, with the total farmed area 384 acres providing roughly 230 tons of average annual cherry production.
Nyeri County has cool temperatures and fertile central highlands, lying between the Eastern base of the Aberdare (Nyandarua) Range, which forms part of the Eastern end of the Great Rift Valley, and the Western slopes of Mt. Kenya. Most of the coffees from Nyeri develop and mature slowly producing extra hard beans. This quality is also evident in the cup. This is why Nyeri is traditionally known as the heart of Kenya’s black gold coffee.
This lot we purchased is wet processed, meaning the fully ripe cherries are pulped, fermented, washed, then slowly dried on the raised beds over 2- 3 weeks where the beans moisture content is reduced to 10-12%. The coffee is then delivered to the dry mill – Sagana Coffee Mills.