Kenya Kirinyaga Thirikwa Peaberry
Our current crop from Kenya is sourced from smallholder farms organized by the Thirikwa Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) located in Kirinyaga County, Kenya, in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Perhaps Thirikwa FCS is not as large or known as some other Kenyan co-op’s but they have been delivering exceptional coffees and fetching some record breaking auction prices at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE).
Thirikwa FCS operates just one wet mill, Gakuyu-ini Factory, that processes coffee cherries for 1,600 members. Most members cultivate about 250 coffee trees on half-acre plots, usually intermixed with other crops. Auction successes have earned co-op members higher prices per pound for cherry and some of the highest prices paid anywhere in Kenya. For coffees coming from small parcels of land, cherry classification is the most critical variable for cup quality and thus higher prices. Between small plots and high prices per pound for Thirikwa FCS coffees, producers have more control to strategically pick and deliver only the ripest cherry to the factory.
Coffees in this area are grown around 1,572 meters in a volcanic loam soil. After cherries are delivered to the wet mill additional hand sorting and floating to remove less dense beans happens. The coffee is then depulped, fermented and washed. After washing, coffee is soaked in fresh water for a long period to solidify the renowned Kenyan profile. Coffee is then dried on raised beds over a period of two weeks. Once the coffee is milled for export the green beans are sorted by screen size and graded according to size and shape, this crop is a peaberry so it is graded PB. A zesty aroma with nuances of fresh citrus. Excellent full body in the cup with notes of grapefruit and lemon along with some light floral notes and hints of herbs.