COFFEE CUP COST AT HOME
Do you know what it costs you a quality coffee prepared at home?
Using 8 grs. (customary measure) drink a cup of this extraordinary coffee for 0.38 €.
Kiunyu Factory is on the eastern edge of the Kirinyaga district, on the southern slope of Mount Kenya (5.199m), and is a member of the Karithathi Farmers Cooperative Society.
It was established in the 1960s and is serving the villages of Kagumoini, Kianduma, Kiambuuku, Kiambatha, Gatura and Kiamuki. It has approximately 1.200 members (small farmers).
The area experiences moderate bimodal precipitation and temperatures vary between 13°C and 24°C throughout the year. The main coffee varieties grown here are SL34 and Ruiru11, with SL34 representing 99% of all coffee production in the area. Most farmers in the area are producers of tea instead of coffee.
There are two varieties that in particular attract the majority interest of the specialty coffee industry, these are SL28 and SL34.
The Scott Laboratories were hired to develop new cultivars between 1934 and 1963. The development of cultivars SL, was based on the varieties Mokka and Bourbon, that were entered to Kenya by Scottish and French missionaries, from Yemen and Reunion Island respectively. Today, these two varieties are responsible for most of the quality coffee that Kenya produces, but are susceptible to rust.
After a selective harvest, the coffee cherry is delivered to the washing station, where it is subjected to a completely washed processing method. Water is pumped from the Karithathi River to the tanks for despulp and recirculation. After depulping, the coffee is dry fermented overnight before being washed, then soaked in clean water for 24 hours and finally spread over raised beds for selection and subsequent drying.
Drying can last up to 3 weeks. A manual selection is made while the parchment is still wet as it is easier to visually detect defects. At night and during warmer periods, the parchment is covered so that the drying is homogeneous while waiting for its humidity to fall from 55% to 12% ideal for storage and roasting.
Tropical fruit, tamarind and soy sauce fragrance. Aromas of broth, dairy and vanilla cream. Impressive complexity acidity-sweetness, hints of black tea, apple juice, grapefruit and umami broth. Very unctuous body and spicy finish.
Despite its proximity to Ethiopia, coffee was not cultivated in Kenya until the late 1880s, when French missionaries brought seeds to the Taita Hills area. Introduced in the Kiambu district in 1896, the coffee found an excellent combination of altitude, soils and temperature that resulted in the high quality Kenyan coffee known worldwide.
While the credit for the introduction of coffee in Kenya corresponds to Catholic missionaries, it was the English settlers who accelerated the importance of coffee in the Kenyan economy. Large-scale production of this and other crops was encouraged to be exported to Europe to pay for the exorbitant debts generated by the construction of the railroad linking Uganda to the port of Mombasa in 1901.
In 1912 it already had long plantations of several hectares of expansion, where mainly the varieties Bourbon and Mokka were cultivated.
Interesting fact: The Bourbon variety was first cultivated on a small island that is now known as "Reunion Island". It is located in Africa, in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is considered a region of France and until 1789 its name was "Bourbon Island", in honour to the real house of the Bourbons.
As a legacy of colony days, auctioning has encouraged the coffee grower and cooperatives to be constantly committed to quality in order to get the highest possible prices at auctions from buyers in Nairobi.
Even today, the largest coffee growing area spreads from Kiambu on the outskirts of Nairobi to the slopes of Mount Kenya. The counties of this region also known as Central Kenya - Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Murang'a and Nyeri - produce almost 70% of the national production.
The coffee plantations find very fertile soils in the farming regions of Kenya. The soils are young and volcanic and very rich in organic matter. The altitude in the coffee growing areas ranges from a minimum of 1.280 meters above sea level in Embu, an eastern part of the Mount Kenya region, to a maximum of 2.300 meters above sea level in Nyeri on the western slopes.
Currently Kenya produces about 0.5% of the world coffee market, there are approximately 700.000 small coffee growers and an estimated 6 million people depend directly or indirectly on the coffee industry.