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Kenya

Kii

Kii

A fresh and bright expression, grown by the smallholders of the Rungeto cooperative in the Northeast of Kirinyaga. 

Regular price Kr. 159,00 DKK
Regular price Sale price Kr. 159,00 DKK
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About

Coffee Expression A fresh character is reminiscent of fresh redcurrant, balanced by the richness of black tea. 

Producer Grown by smallholders surrounding the town of Ngariama, on the slopes of Mount Kenya in northeastern Kirinyaga.

Whole Bean Coffee / Both for filter and espresso

Brewing Advise

Water is one of the most critical components of an excellent coffee experience. We recommend using mineral water of a soft Total Dissolved Solids count, ideally below 150 ppm. 

Rested coffee During the resting process, harsh and astringent flavors, which can even be perceived as a ‘roast’ character, soften out, allowing a clearer and brighter expression of the coffee’s character to shine.  

We recommend resting our coffees for at least 10 days after the roast date, and we often find excellent results, especially for particularly dense coffees, beyond 6 weeks.

Brewing Our straightforward approach to coffee carries over into brewing. We recommend our roasted coffee for all brew methods, regardless of whether it is immersion, percolation or espresso. We believe that there is one correct way to roast a single coffee, roasting lightly, in such a way as to release its innate qualities and showcase its quality. Learn more about different brewing techniques and specific brew guides here.

Technical Data

Producer Rungeto FCS

Region Kirinyaga

Altitude 1800 masl

Varietal SL28, Ruiru 11, Batian

Process Washed

Harvest December 2023

Shipping & Delivery

· Free shipping available

· Ships within 1-3 days from Denmark

· Coffee is roasted to order

· More info

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Kirinyaga

The small region in Kirinyaga that the Kii mill serves, surrounding the village of Ngariama, is mainly a tea-growing area, so most of the coffee plant stock is rather new. The region is known for very high quality of both tea and coffee; being planted somewhat later than neighbouring regions means soils haven’t been tired out by years of conventional agriculture, with its sprays and chemical fertiliser. We have visited the region several times, most recently in February of this year.

Kii

Here, it is clear to witness the density of both coffee and tea plantation in the lush green landscape, enabled by the rich volcanic soils, relatively undisturbed by intensive conventional agriculture. North Eastern Kirinyaga is home to some of our favourite Kenyan coffees; Kii is run by the Rungeto Farmer’s Cooperative Society, who also own the Karimikui and Kiangoi stations, where we have purchased several lots in the past. We visited the Rungeto team on our trip this year, meeting the board and touring each of the stations. This year was rather difficult in Kenya, which big changes in milling regulations leading to coffees moving out of the country slowly, and weakening direct relationships which had existed for many years. The Rungeto board dealt with the situation quickly and pragmatically; their coffees were some of the first to be milled in Kirinyaga, ensuring quick and fair payments to their members.

After our visit, and after many cuppings back in Nairobi, we have chosen to focus our work this year with Rungeto, and will share several lots from their stations in the coming months. Also near to Ngariama are the Thirikwa cooperative, who own Gakuyuini, and the New Ngariama cooperative, who own Kamwangi, Kainamui and Kiamugumo, also names very familiar to us at La Cabra. This tiny area continues to impress with its quality, much of the area was planted with coffee just before the rise of hybrid varietals in Kenya, meaning that 99% of the farmers that deliver to Kii grow SL28 and SL34, with only about 1% using rust-resistant varietals like Ruiru 11 or Batian.

Rungeto FCS

The Rungeto cooperative is very professionally run; their cherry selection, fermentation, sorting and separation is of incredibly high quality, leading to excellent coffee. The cherries are first de-pulped mechanically, as soon as they arrive at the factory. The cherries should arrive for de-pulping as soon as possible after picking, hence why cooperatives make a great effort to have factories located close to concentrations of smallholders. After de-pulping, the seeds are covered in a layer of sticky fruity pulp, or mucilage. The mucilage is fermented in large tanks for between 12 and 24 hours, breaking it down to a point that it can be thoroughly ‘washed’ from the seeds, using long washing channels. Then, before drying, the cherries are taken to another set of fermentation tanks, and fermented again under water, normally for a shorter time, between 10 and 12 hours. 

This ‘double soak’ is popular in Kenya, and is useful not only for enhancing the cleanliness and intensity of the final cup, but also as a second opportunity to sort for lower density floating seeds, as these are often of lower quality, or from unripe cherries.

Each lot that is processed is kept separate throughout the process, allowing each to be cupped separately. This allows the management of the mill to assess patterns of quality and continuously improve. There is always a degree of unpredictability however, so cupping continuously is the only way to find the finest lots of the harvest, especially in recent years as hybrid varietals have increased in use, and many mills have increased capacity in an attempt to cash in on record prices for Kenyan coffee. For this reason, we cupped several hundred coffees together with exporters in Nairobi this winter, searching for the finest lots to share with you this season.

This washed coffee from Kii displays a fresh character, reminiscent of fresh currants, balanced with the richness of black tea.

Washed SL28, Ruiru 11, Batian