December 28, 2023

AB Kieni / Kenya


Flavor Profile:
Acerola, Citrus, Rose hip, Juicy.
Flavors of acerola, sweet citrus fruits, and rose hips.
Juicy taste.

Country of origin: Kenya
Refinery: Kieni Factory
Producers' Association: Mugaga *Farmers Cooperatibe Society
Producers delivering cherries to the factory: Approximately 1,000 small-scale farmers Production area: Nyeri
Variety: Batian, SL-34, Ruiru 11, SL-28
Purification method: Washed
Elevation: 1818masl
Harvest period : 2022-2023
*In the text, it is written as FCS.

The bright and refreshing fruit flavors of acerola and citrus spread throughout your mouth.
It is a coffee with a juicy impression typical of Kenya.
It has a relatively light body and a rich flavor that fills your mouth.

Kieni Factory is one of Kenya's most famous coffee factories, with a long history of direct trade by Danish roasters and its high quality, making it one of the most well-known coffee factories in the world. is.

Nyeri, north of the capital Nairobi, is located between Mount Kenya, which is over 5000m above sea level, and Abadia National Park, and is famous as an area that produces particularly high-quality coffee in Kenya.
Kieni Factory is operated under the umbrella of Mugaga FCS (Mugaga Producers Cooperative) in Nyeri.

Coffee is grown near Mt Kenya, and compared to other production areas in Kenya, the coffee produced here is grown at higher altitudes.
Growing coffee at high altitudes means there is a large difference in temperature between day and night.
In areas with varying temperatures, coffee cherries ripen slowly over time until fully ripe, which is thought to give the final coffee a complex flavor and high-quality acidity.

FCS includes Kagmoini, Kiambara, Gashugu, Gatina, and Kieni Factory.
I would be happy if anyone remembers Kagumoini, Gashugu, etc.
The coffee from each factory was of excellent quality.

We have purchased coffee from this FCS many times, but this is the first time we have purchased coffee from Kieni Factory.

When we visited the Kieni Factory, the harvest season had ended and the factory was not in operation, but Charles, the company's chairman, gave us a detailed tour of the facility. Among the factories I visited, this facility was the largest, with over 100 African beds installed, indicating that they produce a large amount of coffee.
Currently, approximately 1,000 small-scale farmers bring their cherries to the factory, where each lot is made.

[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 been dried to a specified moisture level, it is then transported to a raised drying table 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.


Product page 👇