Imagine: The Royal Couple of Coffee
If Ethiopia is the Queen of Coffee, then Kenya is the King. What a couple! While she is slender and graceful, with floral elegance and contoured acidity, he is more heavy bodied yet dandy: intensely aromatic, with rich attributes, colorful juiciness and flair. Both have standout personalities that make them unique and irreplaceable in the Word of Coffee.
Coming back to this world:
The Collaborative has been back in Kenya this week, cupping hundreds of samples from the New Harvest from the well-known coffee regions at the foot Mt.Kenya, Embu in the East, and the central counties of Muranga, Kiambu and Kirinyaga.
Yes, the coffee from Nyeri County is clearly missing on this list.
The ‘market’ is up and prices at the Kenyan Auction are going high. The Collaborative Coffee Source is discouraged from taking samples from cooperatives producing coffees we have loved and consistently purchased from simply because we do not know and trust the people that are currently handling the coffee on behalf of the farmers.
It seems the King of Coffee has lost control of its precious yet rebellious county… For Specialty Coffee lovers Nyeri Coffee is the quintessential representative of Kenyan Coffee, but this year we’ve been forced to look elsewhere. Background on this situation will come in the next post.
For the time being we are steering away from Cooperative coffees from Nyeri until the situation is cleared and normal trading principles are put back into practice. Currently the trading of Nyeri coffee is at a standstill, which is a pity, as so far the strategy of “helping the farmers” has been counterproductive. We at the Collaborative Coffee Source are sorry for this situation and hope to be able to present Nyeri Coffee from our long-standing relationships with Relationship Cooperatives to our discerning customers in the future.
The nature of searching for the greatest coffees in each origin is basically like looking for the infamous “needle-in-the-hay-stack”. When Nyeri coffee is on the table, there are likely to be more needles in that stack.
The good thing about this situation is that we are encouraged to look elsewhere on the map for the greatest coffees from Kenya this year, which has been a good learning experience and with some very interesting discoveries.
And the winners are…
I am pleased to say that we’ve been able to identify great coffees from Embu, Muranga, Kiambu and Kirinyaga. We look forward to presenting these lots to you shortly. After screening plenty of contenders we’ve come down to a dozen samples – representing lots from 5 to 40 bags – that each have individual personalities, at the same time as exhibiting the finest features we know from Kenyan coffee: Intense aromas, well-pronounced acidity and juicy sweetness from tropical fruits and dark berries, sometimes with a delicate mouth feel, sometimes with a richer body.
Contact us now for cupping event schedule or sample request. Looking for March shipment, coffee arriving at our Antwerp warehouse around Easter.
– Robert W