Kenyan Kiamabara Peaberry
Kiamabara is a coffee washing station located near the town of Karatina in the heart of Nyeri. Home to the extinct volcano Mount Kenya, this region has rich red volcanic soil, and produces some of the best coffee in Kenya.
Kiamabara is owned by the Mugaga Farmer Cooperative Society. The factory was built in the early 1980’s to process cherry from the small producers in the area. Today 910 producers contribute to the washing station. They own small plots of land at an average altitude of 1,900m above sea level, and most grow SL-28 and SL-34 cultivars.
During the harvest, the small-holder farmers’ cherries are carefully hand-picked and transferred to pre-sorting mats or tables, where any unripe or damaged cherries are removed. The coffee is then weighed and processed using the washed processing method. The coffee is first put in a tank full of water, and any immature cherries are removed (they are lighter and hence float and are easy to remove). The coffee is then pulped using water and a disc pulper with three sets of discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that protects the green coffee bean. Water from the Kingu river is used in the processing, and and afterwards cleaned in soaking pits to remove any harmful matter and then re-used to conserve this precious resource.
After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before it is cleaned, sorted once more via water channels (the heavier, sinking coffee is considered the higher quality, sweeter coffee) and soaked for a further 24 hours. This process increases the proteins and amino acids, which in turn heightens the complexity of the acidity and clarity in the cup. After soaking, the coffee is spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and volumes under processing, and can take 1 -2 weeks to dry.
This lot from Kiamabara is made up of 100% ‘peaberries’. The peaberry is a relatively rare (around 5% of total harvest) type of ‘pea-shaped’ coffee bean: usually a coffee cherry develops with two flat-sided seeds inside (giving us normal ‘flat–beans’), but occasionally the cherry instead produces only a single, rounded seed, known as a peaberry.
- Tasting Notes: Lime, Pomegranate, Toffee, Full Bodied
- Brewing Methods Suggestions: Espresso, pour-over, Chemex
- Altitude: 1700 - 2100m above sea level
- Varietal: SL-28, SL-34, Batian
- Process: Washed