This Kenya Kirimahiga is from the 'New Kiriti Farmers Cooperative Society' in Murang'a county in the famous Kirinyaga district. There are three coops that make up the society, Gondo, Kayu and Kirimahiga and the society is made up of over 3,500 family farmers at the foothills of Mt. Kenya just south of Nyeri. The society has a workforce of 19 permanent staff and average of 25 seasonal workers.
There are 625 farmers who supply cherry to the Kirimihiga factory. These are very small scale farmers who on average have only 0.25 hectares of coffee - and only about 50 trees per farm!
This amazing coffee is grown in red clay volcanic loam soil at an altitude of 1900 metres above sea level and is made up of mostly SL 28 and SL 34 varieties and is fully washed and dried in the sun with drawer style beds.
The Kirimahiga wet mill carries out careful and selective hand picking. Cherry is delivered to the wet mill the same day it is picked and sorted prior to the pulping. The ripe red cherries are processed through the wet processing method that utilises clean water from Kananahu stream. The processing water is then cleaned and recirculated before disposal into evaporation and seepage pits. After fermentation, the coffee is washed and sun-dried then delivered to the dry mill in parchment.
Most of the coffee grown in this area is of the SL28 and SL34 varietals. Both cultivars have Bourbon and Moka heritage and are named after the laboratory that promoted their wider distribution in Kenya during the early 20th century – Scott Laboratories, now the National Agricultural Laboratories of Kenya.
The standard grading systems for Kenyan coffees is based on screen size (in mm):
E (Elephant beans) = screen 19 and up, AA = 17/18, AB = 16/17, PB = Peaberries.
This lot comprises the AA's.