Kenyan coffee, known for its candylike sweetness, complex flavor, and bright acidity, is legendary. There’s a reason it regularly commands a premium in the specialty world. Kenya boasts some of the most well equipped farmers in East Africa and though they didn’t come to coffee production until the late nineteenth century, Kenya has a strong historical connection to coffee research. During the early twentieth century, researchers within the country were already experimenting with new coffee varietals. After experimenting with forty-two plants, they discovered the trees that would put Kenyan coffee on the map, SL 28 and SL 34.
Kenya also has a unique way of selling coffee. Where much of the world has based pricing on the international coffee commodity market, Kenya has held auctions for its coffee since 1934, a system which rewarded quality. For years auctions have resulted in a more equitable Kenyan coffee market but recently, government intervention in the process has caused issues that have harmed quality and muddied compensation. While overall, the auctions are still a worthwhile system, this month’s coffee was purchased under contract for a premium price. We are able to provide feedback and ask questions of the producers, the Giakanja Coffee Farmers Society, and we know that they will be able to go on producing high quality coffee such as the lot you’re about to try.
This was hands down the best coffee on the cupping table. It was incredibly sweet and complex. It was citrusy but not sharp, tart but smooth, and incredibly balanced. My friend David at the warehouse was also very enthusiastic that this was what I was sending to the Coffee World Tour subscribers. He couldn’t stop talking about it. The flavor notes were hard to put together only because I could have sat and tasted it all day pulling out flavors. In the end, the bag will say “lemon meringue pie, chocolate orange, dragonfruit.”
This is our first fully transparent coffee. We’re proud to have paid a price that allows the 1,200 members of Giakanja Farmers’ Cooperative Society to continue to re-invest in their business and live full lives. Giakanja’s books are also open to all of their members, so the coffee’s transparency goes all the way to the source. The co-op pays some of the highest rates we know of in the Nyeri region, retaining only 12% of profits, a sign of good fiscal management. We’ve also included the Fair Trade coffee price as people sometimes ask if our coffee is Fair Trade. As you can see, we’re paying significantly more than the Fair Trade minimum price.
Remember, we ship freshly roasted coffee at the beginning of each month. Subscribe before October 1st if you want to receive this incredible coffee.
sweet and complex
lemon meringue pie, chocolate orange, dragonfruit
1705 – 1800 meters
SL 28 (90%), SL 34, Batian, Ruiru 11
Lot Size: 3420kg, Cup Score: 87.5
Giakanja Farmers’ Cooperative Society
Relationship Established: 2020
Green: $12.43/kg, FOB: $7.85/kg
Transportation: $.50/kg, Production: $8.973/kg
Kenyan Average (Feb 2020): $4.24/kg
Fair Trade Price: $3.086/kg
If you want to be the first to experience this incredible coffee, and to try a new coffee from a differently place around the world every month, be sure to subscribe to Coffee World Tour before October 1.