What’s unusual about this coffee is that it’s a pea berry – the PB in the name. If you look closely at the beans, you’ll notice they’re different from what you usually see: they’re a whole round bean.
Most coffee beans split in two while the cherry is growing, giving the familiar flat-sided shape to the bean. A PB stays as one whole bean.
Pea berries occur naturally in most varietals of coffee, and are removed from the crop as part of the manual sorting process because they behave differently during roasting, but with some crops it’s possible to collect enough to sell and roast separately.
Kirinyaga is located on the slopes of Mount Kenya and together with the neighboring region Nyeri, it’s known for coffees with some of the most intense and complex flavours in the world.
The region is made up of mainly smallholder farms, each with some 100 trees. The farmers are organized in Cooperative Societies that act as umbrella organisations for the factories (wetmills), where the smallholders deliver their coffee cherries for processing.
Kirinyaga has a mix of smallholders and block holders with small to medium farms. The ones that don’t have their own processing equipment delivers cherries to their local Cooperative. Many of the farmers are surrounded by several wet mills and as members are free to choose where they want to deliver their cherries.
Most coffees are grown under shade from Gravelia and Muringa Alloevella trees.
Due to the traditional auction system in Kenya, quality is rewarded with higher prices. The better factories will then attract more farmers by producing coffee getting the highest prices, as well as giving high payback rate to the farmers. This can in some cases be about 90% of the sales price after cost of marketing and preparation is deducted.