Terroir Best Lot
QUALITY SCORE: 88.75
Vanilla / Earl Grey Tea / Rose Jelly / Sweet Lemon / Black Cherry
Suggested for espresso and filter
when we roast
We freshly roast to order all coffees on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding national holidays), and ship the same day! Cut-off time is 11:59pm (UTC+1) of the day before the roast day. *We only ship whole beans*
- Quality Score
- Terroir Best Lot
- Several Small Farmers
- 1700-1900 masl
- Kenya Washed (post soak)
- Arabica cultivar
- SL28 & SL34
- Picked in
- November 2020
- Arrived in
- September 2021
- Shipped in
- Vacuum pack
- Roast profile by
- Rubens Gardelli
- Roasted on
- Customised roaster
THE STORY BEHIND
Gakuyuini is located in Kyrinyaga County in the central highlands of Kenya. The factory is a member of the Thirikwa Cooperative Society.
The factory is set in a beautiful, fertile and forested location and is surrounded by thousands of smallholder subsistence farmers who grow coffee as a cash crop alongside potatoes, bananas, mangos and avocados.
The average altitude of these smallholdings is approximately 1,650 masl, which is one of the key factors in producing beans with outstanding flavour.
The growers have the advantage of deep and rich soils that were created from the ash of the extinct volcano – Mount Kenya. Coffee varieties used by the farmers are mainly SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian and SL28 grafted onto Ruiru rootstock.
The latter combines the hardy and disease-resistant properties of Ruiru 11 with the outstanding cup quality of SL28.
SL28 was bred by Scott Laboratories in 1931 from Tanganyika D.R. It has become very popular throughout Kenya and is recognised as a variety of exceptional cup quality. It has wide leaves with coppery tips, and the beans are wide. At the same time, the productivity of SL28 is comparatively low. Though there is no sufficient proof, some sources claim that Scott Labs crossed mutations of French Mission, Mocha and Yemen Typica to produce SL 28. Whatever the exact genetic composition, their original goal almost certainly was to create a plant with high quality, reasonable productivity and great drought resistance.
SL 34 is a mutation of French Mission, originating from the plantation of Loresho in Kabete. SL34 has wide leaves with bronzy tips. It is widely grown throughout Kenya. SL34 is valued for its high productivity in different climate conditions and great height ranges. It is also claimed to be able to withstand drought and strong rainfall.
THE FERMENTATION PROCESS
The Gakuyuini factory processes coffee using methods typical throughout Kenya.
Local people are paid to pick the ripe coffee cherries between October and January. The ripe cherries are pulped using disc pulpers in the wet mill.
The beans are transported by water flows to larger tanks, and in this process additional selection happens: as the mucilage-coated beans float in water, the lighter beans that remain on the surface are removed, and the beans that sink to the bottom are then placed at the tanks.
The beans are separated in three separate channels for three grades of parchment coffee: P1, which is the best, P2 and P3. The parchment coffee is then channelled into large tanks where dry fermentation occurs during the following 24 hours or so.
Once the mucilage is loose, the beans take on a pebble-like feel and so the fermentation process is halted by washing the beans in channels full of water. Here further quality separation takes place: low-grade ‘floaters’ are flushed away from the dense high-quality beans.
After washing, the parchment coffee is channelled to a soak tank where it sits in cold water for around 24 hours, during which the amino acids develop within the beans, which are thought to contribute to Kenyan coffee’s unique flavours.
Subsequently the parchment is laid in a thin layer upon raised beds and allowed to dry under the sun for between 11 and 14 days.
The coffee then undergoes a period of storage or ‘resting’ before being delivered to a mill, where the parchment will be removed and the coffee screened and cleaned to remove any defects.
It will then be graded by size to create AA, AB, PB grades, and finally, it will be packed in grain-pro lined bags or in vacuum packs ready for export.