Elegant and intense, brilliant in acidity accompanied by a great fruity sweetness: these are the key traits of this typical Kenya from Othaya, in the Nyeri county.
The finer details
This micro-lot comes from the town of Othaya, located about 120km north of Nairobi in the Nyeri county, the central highland region of Kenya enclosed between Mount Kenya and the range of the Aberdare.
This is the area where some of the best coffees in the world are produced.
The Othaya Farmers' Cooperative Society Limited groups 927 small farmers in the Othaya area. They grow coffee in small plots at around 1800m asl. The Cooperative has 17 processing facilities (wet mills) scattered around the city.
One of these mills, called Ichamama, has processed the micro lot secured by Nero Scuro Specialty Coffees. The mill takes its name from the homonymous river that supplies it with the water necessary to process the beans.
The varieties are mainly SL-28 and SL-34, with negligible quantities of Ruiru 11 and Batian.
The process follows the classic fully washed approach with dry fermentation, typical of the Kenyan coffees. The dry fermentation entails the use of cherry juice only to ferment the beans before washing them one or more times.
In particular, at Ichamama cherries are harvested strictly by hand, and then further manually sorted to remove those over and those underripe.
The cherries are then processed with a disk depulper, which removes most of the pulp from the beans and discards any defective ones.
The beans, covered by little residual pulp, are sent to the fermentation tanks where they stay for 16-24 hours without exposure to direct light, to allow bacteria and yeasts to consume any remaining mucilage.
The beans are then washed and classified by density, to remove any residual immature.
They are then soaked for other 16-18 hours and finally placed on raised beds to lower the residual moisture to a 10-11% targeted value. This may take up to three weeks, during which the beans are turned around regularly to avoid unwanted fermentations and covered during the hottest hours of the day and at night.
They are eventually processed by the dry mill, where the parchment is removed, and the grains are vacuum packed before being exported.
The result in the cup
In the cup, you can expect citrus fruits, and in particular grapefruit, together with floral notes and a slight hint of cinnamon. Suitable for filter extractions, it has an elegant and intense acidity accompanied by a great fruity sweetness, typical of the best Kenya.