Producer: Small-holder members of the Thunguri Factory
Altitude: 1700 - 1800 masl
Varietal: SL28 & SL34
Process: Washed and soaked
Importer: Falcon Speciality
Cup profile: Juicy, blackcurrant, pink grapefruit, boiled sweets
The Thunguri factory is located in the Kirinyaga county in an area of lush green valleys that produce tea, often alongside coffee. It is affiliated to the Kibirigwi Farmers Co-op Society of which there are seven factories in total. There are now 1,500 active members of the Thunguri factory and each member has on average around half a hectare of land for coffee growing alongside macadamia, beans, banana, tea and maize. The area has deep, well drained and fertile red volcanic soil at altitudes of between 1,700 and 1,800 metres above sea level.
The coffee is handpicked by the smallholder members and delivered to the Thunguri factory where it gets processed. The cherries are pulped to remove skin and separate dense beans from the immature ‘mbuni’s (floaters) using water floatation. Denser beans sink and are sent through channels to a fermentation tank where they are first fermented for around 24 hours. After this the beans are washed and sent to the secondary fermentation tank for another 12-24 hours. Once the fermentation process is completed, the beans enter the washing channels where floaters are separated further and the dense beans are cleaned of mucilage. The washed beans will then enter soaking tanks where they can sit under clean water for as long as another 24 hours. Finally the coffee is transferred to drying tables where they are laid in a thin layer for around 6 hours to allow around 50% of the moisture to be quickly removed before being gathered and laid in thicker layers for another 5-10 days of drying. The dry parchment coffee is then delivered to a private mill and put into ‘bodegas’ to rest – these are raised cells made of chicken wire which allows the coffee to breathe fully and dry further to the desired moisture content below 11%. Eventually, the coffee is separated by size from largest AA to AB, PB (peaberry) and other lowers grades before it is ready to be packed and exported.
The particular and very meticulous processing is believed to contribute to the distinct acidity and overall flavour profile associated with Kenyan coffees. This coffee is a really stand out example of a classic Kenyan cup profile bursting to the seams with juicy blackcurrants and boiled sweets. This one is for all the bright coffee lovers!