Kenya has always been a powerhouse coffee origin. They hold to traditional production practices and attention to details. Kenya also has one of the most transparent and rigid buying systems in the world at the Nairobi auctions.
For Kenya, it is illegal to sell cherries to a middle man. In order to finance, educate, and provide inputs and support for producers, there are ‘market agents’ who act as representatives to the producers in the production chain. These agents double up as the dry mill partners, and take the cooperatives’ coffee through the auction system. The agents are a crucial step in connecting producers to the market. They bring the coffees to the auction, and also help to negotiate with end-buyers for a reasonable selling price.
These agents do not owe the coffees. They purely act as middlemen, and instead charge producers for the service of the dry mill and take a percentage of auction prices of the sold coffees.
Located just north of Nairobi in Kiambu County, the Nyala Estate is one of the oldest coffee farms in the country. The county experiences temperatures ranging between 12 to 18 degree Celsius, making it ideal for coffee farming.
Majority of Kenyan’s coffees are traditionally washed, or double soaked, which contributes largely to their unique characteristic - classic crisp phosphoric acidity. Cherries are first depulped after harvesting as soon as possible. They are then fermented with its mucilage in large tanks for at least 24 hours, to break down the sticky mucilage thoroughly. The cherries are then washed again to thoroughly remove the mucilage. Before being laid out to dry, they are fermented one last time for a shorter period of time.
Double soaking is very popular in Kenya, and is the core reason for enhancing both cleanness and crisp acidity in your cup. It is indeed a labour-intensive process but the efforts are paying off significantly as Kenya is producing consistently good coffees every year. These meticulous practices of Kenyan coffees are reflected in the Nyala Kiambu as we experience bright red acidity and flavour profiles.
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