Kii AA, Kenya | FILTER
Kii AA, Kenya | FILTER
Kii AA, Kenya | FILTER
Williams & Johnson Coffee Co.

Kii AA, Kenya | FILTER

Regular price $16.00 $0.00 Unit price per
Tax included.

Tasting notes:

blackcurrant, cherry, lime, vanilla

Origin:

Kenya, Kirinyaga East District

Processing:

Wet processed & sun dried

Altitude:

1,600 - 1,900 masl

Varietals:

SL28, SL34 & Ruiru 11

Mill:

Highlands Coffee Mill

 

This coffee was produced by smallholder farmers belonging to the Rung’eto Farmers Cooperative Society. Established in 1976, the society currently represents up to 1,214 small scale farmers, all with coffee plots of under .5 hectares on average. Farmers in this region first planted coffee in 1953, and since then, coffee has become a primary cash crop in the area.

These farms overlook the famous elephant migration route that connects Aberdare and Mt. Kenya Forest. Along with elephants, there are many other wild animals such as buffaloes, antelopes and monkeys in the area. These, as well as many others, often find their way onto the farms to graze on the grassland or chew on the sweet coffee berries. 

The cooperative is managed by a democratically elected board of 7 members, each of whom serve as a representative of a particular catchment area. Additionally, the Cooperative provides employment for 25 permanent members of staff, headed by the Secretary Manager, who oversees the day-to-day running of the Coop under the board’s supervision. 

In addition to the wide-spread SL28 and SL34, this lot contains some Ruiru 11. Ruiru 11 is named for the station at Ruiru, Kenya where it was developed in the '70s and released in 1986. The varietal is slowly becoming more widespread in the region due to its resistance to Coffee Berry Disease and Coffee Leaf Rust and has both been backcrossed with SL28 and SL34 to ensure high cup quality.

Farmers, though very small scale, pay stringent attention to cultivation methods and regularly apply compost and farmyard manure to ensure soil fertility. Inorganic fertilisers are applied less frequently, though are often necessary throughout the year. 

Farmers selectively handpick the ripest, reddest cherries, which are then delivered to the cooperative’s wet mill on the same day. All farms delivering to the wet mill are located within a 3 mile radius and deliver to the mill via a variety of methods – including motorbike, wheelbarrow and bicycle! Cherries are hand sorted prior to pulping, with damaged and under ripe cherries being separated out from the red, ripe lots, and are further defined into lots according to quality. After pulping the coffee is fermented for between 16 and 24 hours. After fermentation, the coffee is washed in clean, fresh water to remove all traces of mucilage before being delivered through sorting channels to dry on raised beds.

While it is drying, parchment coffee is sorted again to remove any discoloured or damaged beans. When it achieves optimal humidity, the parchment coffee is then delivered to the dry mill where it is given an ‘outrun’ number, defining it by the week in that season, the dry mill and the delivery number for that week. 

Coffee farming in this region goes back to the 1950s, but many members of the Cooperative rely on additional economic and agricultural activities for their livelihoods. In addition to producing coffee, most farmers in the area also produce macadamia, maize and dairy for sale at local markets and for their own tables.

Some of the issues that farmers face are low production due to loss due to pests and diseases and the relatively high cost of inputs. Many cannot afford to plant disease resistant varieties and face being priced out of the market as their yields diminish. It is perhaps no surprise that many young people in the region see no future in continuing to farm coffee. The Cooperative is always looking to fund programs that will improve not only the livelihoods of their producers but also engage youth to continue to farm coffee.

 


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