Natural Process Kenya
UNUSUAL NATURAL PROCESS FOR KENYAN COFFEE
In the past ten years or so we know coffees from Kenya offer remarkable clarity of flavours, clean sweetness, and a vibrant acidity. This is due to several factors – including soil content, a commitment at the individual-level to quality, and curated varietals of coffee cherry and most of us coffee people are aware that Kenya’s traditional washed process is a big factor in the unique character of Kenyan coffees.
This particular lot from Endebess Estate is processed using the natural method, very unusual for Kenya.
However, we think the clean and transparent profile produced was worth it, a great balance between the heavier and wilder characteristics of naturals, and the classic high level of acidity and syrupy sweetness we expect from great Kenyan coffee. We are tasting lots of strawberries, hibiscus, orange blossoms and honey from our filter/long espresso roast.
ABOUT THE PROCESS
The coffee cherries are picked at the peak of ripeness, when the red hue edges on purple. Right after picking, the harvest is hand-sorted for damaged or unripe cherries, and foreign matter (twigs, leaves, pebbles, etc..).
The cherries are then spread in a thin layer on raised beds, and slowly dried for 28 days.
They are moved around four times a day to promote even drying and prevent mold from setting; and covered both during the hottest time of the day to avoid damaging the cherries, and at night to prevent moisture re-absorption as the temperature cools and the air becomes more humid.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
The Endebess Estate is located in the northern part of Kenya’s Rift Valley, near the market town of Kitale in Trans-Nzoia County. The farm measures about 758 hectares, a third of which is used to grow coffee. The varieties on the farm are predominantly SL28, SL34, Batian and Ruiru 11.
The region’s soil is mostly clay loam and sits on the eastern slopes of Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya.
The history of the farm goes back to 1940’s when the family of Mr EW D’Ollier owned the farm. The D’Olliers used to process and mill their coffee as well as for the neighbouring small scale farmers. In 1976, they sold the farm to Gatatha Farmers Co Ltd who ran the farm until September 2011when they sold it to the current owners of the farm. The management and current owners are very keen on the welfare of employees. The farm has sponsored two high school students, and financed the renovation of over a dozen homes. It is hoped this program will be expanded in future.