Kenya Gikirima AA Filter Coffee

$ 13.00$ 60.00

Cherry cola, sparkling red apple, berry, floral, creamy toffee, syrupy, crisp.

Mill: Gikirima Factory
Producer: Kibugu Cooperative
Region: Embu County
Variety: SL28 & SL34
Process: Washed
Altitude: 1,800 masl


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Kibugu Cooperative Society is quite large and owns 5 washing stations in total. The member farmers are given advances for school fees, farm input, and other emergency expenses. Most coffees are grown under the shade given by trees of Grevillea, Eucalyptus and Macadamia trees. Tea, banana and maize are commonly grown for extra crop.

The Gikirima Factory is located on the slopes of Mount Kenya, an area with an optimal balance of conditions for growing coffee. This area experiences two season of rainfall, resulting in two seasons of harvest. The main crop is harvested October through December and the fly crop harvested April through June. 80% of all coffee is picked during main crop and 20% during fly crop. Smallholder farmers in the surrounding areas pick only ripe cherries and deliver them to Gikirima where they undergo a traditional washed process. Cherries are de-pulped, and fermented in a soaking tank overnight where the sugars are naturally broken down. The coffee is then washed and placed on raised drying beds where it remains for an average period of 7-15 days, weather depending. Frequent turning and sorting of the coffee occurs while it is drying. Gikirima has a long term goal of increasing coffee production and establishing transparent, trust-based relationships with smallholder farmers through farmer training, agricultural practice seminars, and providing the most current printed references on sustainable farming.

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Kenya is considered one of the elite powerhouse of the coffee world. Both in the cup, and the way they run their trade, everything is top-notch. The best Kenya coffees are not sold simply as generic AA or AB. They are specific auction lots sold to the highest bidder, and heated competition drives the prices sky high. Their research and development is unparalleled. Their quality control is meticulous, and many thousands of small farmers are highly educated in their agricultural practice –and rewarded — for top level coffee.

Coffee was brought to Kenya by Scottish and French missionaries, around 1893, nearly 300 years after the plant was first cultivated for sale. The vast bulk of Kenya’s coffee is sold through an auction system, under the auspices of the Kenya Coffee Board. Traceable Kenya coffees are available from either privately owned estates, or cooperatively managed washing stations commonly called “Factories.” Factories are typically organised in Societies, much like cooperatives organise under associations in Latin American coffee producing countries. While private estates have had the ability to market directly to buyers for some time, it’s a relatively recent development that exporters have been able to market coffees from individual washing stations (factories) directly to buyers.

Unique to East Africa is a letter based size grading system. Screen sizes are measured in 64ths of an inch increments. “AA” is the largest size grade, consisting of beans with screen sizes 17 and 18. “AB” refers to 15/16 screen, “C” grade is 14/15 screen and “PB” is the small peaberry bean. Larger screen sizes fetch higher auction prices even today, with much of the international market preferring a large size bean. We’ve found that there’s no absolute correlation between bean size and cup quality.

Kenyan coffees are masterpieces and is considered among the highest in specialty coffee circles. The sweetness, complexity and vibrant acidity is practically unmatched by any other coffee growing region. Fruit notes range from citrus (grapefruit, mandarin orange) to stone fruit (peach, apricot) to dark berry (blackberry, black currant) and everything in between. The diversity of Kenya coffee profiles is part of the origin’s charm. Here at Humblebee we strive to source an array of different styles to showcase the best Kenya offers as it is a favourite of ours.