Photo by Jake Green for the Drink My Sweat documentary project.
The coffee that we have chosen for our August Subscription is one of our favourites from this year's Kenyan harvest. Read on to find out what makes this coffee so unique.
About the Washing Station
The Kangocho Factory is located 1600 - 1800masl near the town of Karatina, in the Nyeri County of Kenya. The Kangocho factory is one of many smaller washing stations that belong to the larger Gikanda Cooperative Society, a group that supports farmers in and around the highly regarded Nyeri growing region. The name “Gikanda”, is the short version and a combination of the names of the three factories (washing stations) under that Co-op: Gichathaini, Kangocho, and Ndaorini. Being on the slopes of the Mount Kenya, the soil is rich in minerals. Combined with a constant rainfall every year, this provides perfect conditions to grow coffee.
About the Variety
As with most Kenyans, this is a mixed variety lot consisting of SL-28, SL-34 and Batian. A huge contributor of Kenyan coffees' exceptional qualities is its unique varieties. About 80 years ago, faced with crisis of the coffee berry disease and coffee leaf rust, the Kenyan government hired a company called Scott Labs to research and collect data. They presented two strains, the highly prized SL-28 which gives us the intense blackcurrant and juicy fruit qualities we've come to love and the more hardy SL-34. These two varieties combined would be the nation's best bet in terms of resistance to disease and cup quality.
As for the Batian, it is a more recent leaf rust and disease-resistant variety released in Kenya in 2010. Batian was created via single-tree selections, mixing different pure line varieties. The varieties involved in the original crosses are SL-28, SL-34, Rume Sudan, N39, K7, SL4 and the Timor Hybrid.
About the Processing
For this particular lot, the cherries underwent an overnight in-bag fermentation to jumpstart the post pulping fermentation. This additional stage was perhaps what contributed to its unique profile. Once the ripe cherries are pulped, the parchment is fermented for 12 hours. It is then washed in the washing channels and separated per density into several grades. After separation, the parchment is spread out on the drying tables and dried for around 14 days.
The End Result
We thoroughly enjoy the vibrant and lively qualities of this exceptional lot. We taste complex layers of fruits in the cup with notes of blackcurrant and dried blueberries. The finish is clean and sweet with hints of purple florals like lavender.
Subscribe here now for more exciting coffees lined up on our Monthly subscription programme.