This Kenya comes through the Caffenation Direct Trade project. New Kenya coffees are coming in shortly. Our supplier for Kenya Caffenation from Antwerp already made a beautiful selection of new stash. This fully washed coffee from Ruiru area grows on one of the oldest coffee estates. Think red berry and tropical fruit notes, with a citrus peel acidity and some herby aftertaste.
Oaklands Estate is one of Kenya’s oldest and largest coffee farms. Dating from colonial times, the farm was long owned by the Socfinaf Company, Kenya’s largest coffee plantation company at the time, which owned some twelve estates spread over 37,960 acres. The company, for many years, was one of only three licensed milling agents in Kenya and had significant influence over the development of the coffee sector in the country.
Coffee is harvested twice annually. During the harvest, a great deal of effort goes into ensuring that quality is maintained. All pickers are well–trained in quality harvesting methods, and only the ripest cherries are picked at each pass. These are delivered on the same day to the ‘factory’ (as Kenyan washing stations/wet mills are called), sorted to remove any damaged or underripe cherries, and pulped using the farm’s large drum pulpers. The pulped coffee is then fermented for around 12 hours before being fully washed to remove all the remaining mucilage.
When it is ready, the coffee is washed and graded. After coffee is washed is delivered to rest in the factory’s soaking tanks under circulating, clean water from the farm’s boreholes for around 24 hours. Once soaked and clean, the parchment is delivered to pre-drying tables (with slightly larger screen holes) for around two hours. Here it will be sorted, again, as it loses excess surface moisture, before it is delivered to the main drying beds.
Usually drying times are around 7 to 14 days. Coffee is turned and sorted every two hours or so and is covered under Nylex during the hottest part of the day to prevent splitting and to promote even drying. Very occasionally, depending on weather and volume, the coffee may be delivered to mechanical driers, though this is not the preference. After the optimal humidity of 10.5 to 11% is reached, the coffee is bagged and rested in the farm’s ample warehouse.