December 08, 2023

AB Kiawanduma / Kenya

Tasting video now available on YouTube!

Flavor Profile:
Blackcurrant fruit, honey sweetness, black tea flavor.
Black currant, Honey, Black tea.

Country of origin: Kenya (Kenya)
Refinery: Kiawanduma Factory
Producers' Association: Kiawanduma *Farmers Cooperatibe Society
Producers delivering cherries to the factory: 657 small-scale farmers Production area: Muranga (Muranga)
Variety: Batian, SL-34, Ruiru 11, SL-28
Purification method: Washed
Altitude: 1600 ~ 1800ml
Harvest period: 2022-2023
*In the text, it is written as FCS.

This is our first time handling coffee from Kiawanduma Factory.
Compared to the Kenyan coffee released this year, it has a gentler appearance, and behind the fruit flavor, you can feel the gentle sweetness of black tea with honey.

Among Kenyan coffees, which have a strong fruit flavor that is appealing, this coffee has a well-balanced overall taste such as acidity, sweetness, and texture.

The name Kiawanduma comes from the Kikuyu language (the language of the Kikuyu people living in Kenya) and means ``a place where the starch-producing plant called arrowhead is planted.'' The cooperative was originally a factory that was part of another cooperative called Kangima, but became an independent cooperative called Kiawanduma.

The small-scale farmers who belong to this cooperative reuse the pulp removed during the coffee bean refining process as organic fertilizer for coffee trees as compost instead of throwing it away.

[From harvest to refining]

Kenya has two harvest seasons, the main crop is harvested from October to December and the fly crop is harvested from May to July. We always buy from the main crop.

For the main crop, flowers bloom from February to March, and coffee beans are available for purchase from January to April of the following year. When we visited Kenya in late February, it was the high season for purchasing the main crops after they had been harvested and refined.

Farmers harvest all ripe cherries by hand and bring them to the factory.
Upon arrival, the cherries are spread out on sheets in a sorting shed and then manually sorted to determine which cherries are properly ripe and which are not, according to factory standards. There is a staff member at the factory, such as a receptionist, who is present to ensure that the sorting is done correctly.

Only ripe cherries are sorted and fed into a machine called a pulper. This machine is for removing the pericarp that covers the parchment. Once the coffee beans pass through the machine, they are covered in a protective shell called parchment.
Parchment is sorted into three stages according to density, and only Grade 1 and Grade 2 proceed to the purification process described below.
Grade 3, which has a lower density, is considered lower quality and is sent for domestic consumption.

At this point, the parchment is coated with a sticky liquid called mucilage, which is made up of naturally occurring sugars and alcohol. This mucilage has a major influence on the sweetness, acidity, and overall flavor of coffee.

The parchment wrapped in mucilage is placed in a fermentation tank and slowly fermented for 16 to 24 hours. The tanks used here do not contain water, and fermentation is carried out by microorganisms in the cherries and the environment breaking down the mucilage.

After fermentation in the tank, the parchment is washed again with clean water and passed through a washing channel for further gravity sorting. Once passed through the channels, the parchment is soaked in a tank filled with clean water for 16 to 18 hours. This process is thought to improve the quality of the coffee's acidity and lead to a cleaner cup.

After that, when the preparations for drying are complete, they are transferred to a mesh-lined bed called a skin dry bed and dried to a specified moisture level over a period of 6 hours to a day in some cases.

Since it was just washed in the previous step, the parchment contains about 50% water. This bed dries until it is about 20% dry.

Once it has dried to a specified moisture level, it is transported to a raised drying platform called an African bed, where it is slowly dried for up to 21 days. The coffee spread out on the African bed is protected by a plastic sheet during the sunny hours of the day and at night.

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AB Kiawanduma / Kenya 🇰🇪