Caravan - Kenya
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The Kahuhia farmers co-operative society and processed at the Wanjengi Factory wet mill in the Muranga region of Kenya
SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian
1700 - 1850 masl
Notes of Rhubarb, Lemon Sherbet and Spiced Apple
Sourcing coffee requires a thoughtful approach. Knowing what to look, finding those coffees that hold hidden potential. Those that will gradually open up and peak in flavour over a period of months after harvest, allowing them to complete the journey from their country of origin to our roastery in good condition. We work a schedule of cupping (coffee tasting) and selection, logistics, and then managing lines to bring coffees on when they are at their best.
The first stage is cupping at the country of origin, and it’s always best to come with a game-plan. There can often be an abundance of tempting coffees, and try as we might we can’t buy them all.
Giddy with choices like a kid in a sweet-shop, we whittle it down to a final selection of samples, then with clearer (and certainly less caffeinated) heads make a final confirmation in our QC lab in London.
You have to think what attributes will match with the brew method, and it can be all too easy to play the cautious route when selecting coffees for espresso. Thick body, lower acidity, more concise flavours that will stand up well to the concentration of a shot are often the name of the game.
But there’s times when caution needs to be thrown to the wind. There are few things as lip-smackingly delicious as a really good Kenyan espresso, and this AB graded lot from the Kahuhia Farmers Co-operative hit all the marks we look for. Processed at the Wanjengi (which translates from Swahili as “They who build”) factory; the rhubarb, lemon and spiced apple notes from the cupping bowl all become magnified when pulled as a shot - needless to say this espresso pulls no punches.
The Kahuhia FCS was formed in 1959, and operates four washing stations (known as factories) – alongside Wanjengi there is also Kahuhia, Ngwethe and Gathinja. There are 1549 active smallholder farmers contributing to the Wanjegi factory’s production, of which 362 are female producers. Located in the Muranga region, the factory sits on the south-western slopes of Mt. Kenya and the rich volcanic soils and high altitude have a hand in the excellent quality of the cherry being delivered to the factory.