Karogoto AB, Nyeri District, Kenya (350g)

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Karogoto.JPG
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Karogoto AB, Nyeri District, Kenya (350g)

11.00

Grapefruit, black fruit and lemon acidity

SL28, SL34

Grind:
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The Karagoto factory (washing station) is located in Nyeri County on the foot-hills of Mount Kenya and the Abadares. It is affiliated to the Tekangu Farmers Co-op Society of which there are 3 factories in total.  There are around 500 active members of the Karagoto factoryand each member has on average around half a hectare of land for coffee which often grows alongside crops such as macadamia, beans, banana, tea and maize. The area has deep, well-drained and fertile red volcanic soil which is prefect for growing high quality coffee. The Karogoto factory has a reputation for producing very good coffees year in, year out.

Farmers mainly grow SL28 and SL34 varietals on their smallholdings which have on average just 250 coffee trees – enough to produce around 5 or 6 bags of coffee each year. In order to maintain quality standards, farmers are advised on prudent agronomic practices, through regular farmer field days and through farm visits by supervisory committees who offer technical advice for maximising yields and high quality.

The coffee is handpicked by the smallholder members and delivered to the Thunguri factory where it is pulped. This initially separates the dense beans from the immature ‘mbuni’s (floaters) using water floatation which means the denser beans will sink and be sent through channels to the fermentation tank. This first stage of fermentation will last for around 24 hours, after which the beans are washed and sent to the secondary fermentation tank for another 12-24 hours. Once the fermentation process is completed, the beans enter the washing channels where floaters are separated further and the dense beans are cleaned of mucilage. The washed beans will then enter soaking tanks where they can sit under clean water for as long as another 24 hours. This soaking process allows amino acids and proteins in the cellular structure of each bean to develop which results in higher levels of acidity and complex fruit flavours in the cup - it is thought that this process of soaking contributes to the flavour profiles that Kenyan coffees are so famed for. The beans are then transferred to the initial drying tables where they are laid in a thin layer to allow around 50% of the moisture to be quickly removed. This first stage of drying can last around 6 hours before the beans are gathered and laid in thicker layers for the remaining 5-10 days of the drying period. The dry parchment coffee is then delivered to a private mill and put into ‘bodegas’ to rest – these are raised cells made of chicken wire which allows the coffee to breathe fully. Coffee is traditionally sold through the country’s auction system, though recent amendments to the coffee law of Kenya have brought about the introduction of direct trading whereby farmers can by-pass the auction and sell directly to speciality roasters around the world.