Kenya Coffee - February Natural Coffee
Coffees from Kenya are some of the most sought-after by coffee lovers. The cup quality of these distinct beans can be attributed to a few factors which are unique to Kenya. Pronounced acidity and balanced, deeply nuanced flavors are common. Coffee aficionados clamor to get their hands on these coffees to savor and peel back the layers of flavor.
What makes Kenya coffee so great? Well, a couple of factors come into play.
First, you’ll find varietals that are not commonly grown in other coffee origins. Decades ago, the Kenya government worked with a group called Scott Labs to create a couple of varietals uniquely suited to Kenya’s growing conditions. These are the famed SL-28 and SL-34. Both are varietals of the Arabica species, and each has exceptional cup qualities noted for their complex acidity.
Another factor that sets Kenya’s coffee apart is its use of a unique step in the washing process. While most washed coffees are soaked for approximately 24-36 hours to remove the sticky mucilage layer before drying, washing stations in Kenya typically soak for 48 or more. They do this in two steps which we call the Kenya double-wash technique. After an initial 24hr soak the beans are brushed along a concrete canal to a second soaking tank for another round. In the end, this extra soak and scrubbing remove almost all traces of mucilage. This technique creates clean, but also multidimensional layers of flavor and body.
Tasting notes range from bright citrus to tomato-like acidities with flavors of dark cocoa and fruity, even berry-like notes. We roast our Kenya just a little longer to accentuate these dark chocolate flavors and create more harmony between those tastes, the body, and the bright acidity.
This offering comes from our friends at Sucafina Importers who operate a mill, central to several main coffee growing areas in Kenya, that works directly with small farmers. Even though Kenya coffees fetch some of the highest prices in the world, these prices do not always make their way back to the growers at the same rates. Growing coffee in Kenya costs more. The cost of living is higher and inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, transportation, and labor are higher than in other coffee origins. Sucafina, through their mill and purchasing agents, works with small growers to minimize these costs and make sure even the smallest grower has access to capital and more of the higher prices after harvest.