Kenya

Kii

AA

Released July 3, 2017

Tasting notes

Strawberries, pink grapefruit, and port
Medium bodied with vibrant acidity

The Kii Coffee Factory is operated by the Rung'eto Farmers Cooperative Society, and comprises cherry contributions from just over 1,200 members, each owning an average of about a third of a hectare of land, planted with around four hundred coffee trees.

Coffee cherry being transported to Kii Wetmill Coffee cherry being transported to Kii Wetmill

The farmers carefully hand-picked the coffee cherry from their trees, which is delivered to the Kii wetmill on the same day as it's picked. There the cherry is sorted prior to the depulping. The ripe cherry is wet-processed using clean river water before careful fermentation and washing. The parchment is then delivered to the dry mill for secondary processing.

The annual rainfall in this region is 1500–1900 mm per year. The rains are in two seasons: one short season and another long season. Their main crop receives substantial rains that come between April and June; with more rains between October and November supporting a secondary crop.

Coffee cherry at Kii Wetmill Coffee cherry at Kii Wetmill

The cooperative

Farmers in Rung’eto planted their first coffee trees in 1953. The co-op has three wet mills: Kii, Karimikui, and Kiangoi. The co-op is located within Ngariama location, Gichugu division, Kirinyaga East district on the Southern slopes of Mount Kenya.

The co-op is managed by an elected board of seven members, two elected from each factory catchment. Each member represents an electoral zone in the larger Rung’eto sublocation. Currently the co-op has 25 permanent staff members who are headed by a secretary manager. The secretary manager oversees the day-to-day running of the co-op under the supervision of the board.

The three wet mills in the co-op have a combined membership of 2,858 active farmers.

Coffee sorting at Kii Wetmill Coffee sorting at Kii Wetmill

The co-op is currently producing an average of 1,470,258 kg cherry. The co-op has partnered with its marketing agent, Sustainable Management Services Limited, to implement a coffee-quality improvement project, with the aim of increasing the yields to over 3,000,000 kg.

Eh eh?

You might have noticed the “AA” in the name of this coffee.

In the African and Indian coffee trade, AA and AB refer to the size of the bean. AA coffee beans, such as the ones in this delivery, are over 7.2mm in size and generally fetch the highest price at auction in Kenya. Beans graded AB are slightly smaller, at least 6.8mm in size and will get the second highest price.

Beans are sorted using numbered screens with holes of a uniform size, so farmers, exporters and roasters can all use the same terminology to describe things. AA is screen 17 and 18; whereas AB beans are screen 15 and 16. Tom at Sweet Maria’s in Oakland has a blog post about screen tests with photos of how a simple screen setup works.

Sign at Kii Wetmill Sign at Kii Wetmill

Country

Kenya

Region

Kirinyaga

Altitude

1600 - 1800m above sea level

Varietals

SL28, SL34, K7, and Ruiru 11

Process

Washed

Producer

Rung'eto Farmers Cooperative Society

Map showing location of Kenya Kii AA


What makes up Kenya Kii AA?

Varietals

Ruiru 11 varietal

Released in 1985, Ruiru 11 is a disease resistant varietal developed in Kenya

SL28 varietal

SL28 was developed in 1931 by Scott Laboratories to suit the growing conditions in Kenya. The varietal is known for its exceptional cup quality

SL34 varietal

Developed by Scott Laboratories in Kenya, the SL34 varietal was designed to be high yielding with good cup quality.

The location

Coffee from Kenya

Alongside Ethiopia and Colombia, Kenya is one of the origins we get most excited about at the roastery. It exports some of the most vibrant, bright, and unique coffees in the world.


The Kirinyaga region of Kenya

This region is located east of Nyeri, and has similarly rich volcanic soils and a high percentage of smallholder producers.

Farm processes

Washed process

Machines are used to remove the flesh from the coffee cherry before being fermented in water, washed again, and finally sun dried. This process tends to result in more distinct, cleaner flavours.

Coffee delivery: coffee in resealable bag and farm information card

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