Muiri AA, Kenya
This is a refreshing cup reminding of lemonade with notes of hibiscus, wild strawberry, nettle and black currant, and a lingering vibrant phosphoric acidity, typical for Kenyan speciality coffee.
Producer: Mugiai Family
Estate: Muiri Estate
Varietal: SL28, SL34, K7, Ruiru 11
Process: Fully washed. The coffee cherries go through a de-pulper and are fermented for 48 to 72 hours, depending on weather conditions, before being washed and separated by density. Then they are dried for 15-21 days on raised beds.
Region: Thika district in the central province
Harvested: Late October to mid-December 2019
Years of relationship: Second year
Altitude: 1530 meters above sea level
Roast style: The coffee is roasted with a lot of energy to bring out the acidity in the coffee. Light to medium roast level.
Kenyan coffee is one of our favourites, for its high acidity and berry-like sweetness. However, the taste profile we have associated with Kenyan coffee is becoming a bit scarce, due to coffee diseases and climate changes. Visiting producers in the country for many years over the last decade, we see how hard the pesticides are to the soil and we were keen to find an organic high-end coffee, which was not easy. Therefore, we are so proud to have partnered up with the Muiri Estate for the second year now, which is certified organic and committed to biodiversity. This is the AA selection, meaning the biggest sized beans from the farm. The AA selection from Muiri estate gives us a juicy cup with notes of hibiscus, black currant and wild strawberries.
About Muiri Estate
Muiri Estate is owned by the Mugiai family, it was founded in the late 1970s, and is named after a local tree species called pruners in the Kikuyu language. Muiri is a fairly big estate, with an on-site wet mill for processing, a dam and storehouses. The farm also has cottages for the pickers and the staff working at the mill. This year the estate holds about 156,000 trees in production and is actively experimenting with other varietals and crops as well, to be ready for changes in the weather and striving to find excellent taste profiles.
Production on the farm is a bit more fragile while working completely organically. The Mugiai family is carefully looking after the trees on the estate, pruning and stumping the trees regularly.
Generally a lot of pesticides are used during coffee production in Kenya, which makes the soil less healthy but is necessary in order to protect the coffee trees from the dry climate, insect attacks, coffee diseases and fungi. The past few years Kenya’s coffee production has been struggling a lot with coffee berry disease (CBD) and tough weather conditions due to climate changes. This has led to more people planting the Batian variety which is more resistant than the common SL28 and SL34 varieties. However, the Batian plant is not always as high in acidity or as intense as the Kenyan coffee we have had the last decade. The soil and the weather are changing due to climate changes. All of these reasons combined is why it feels extra important to support an estate that is working fully organic.
At the estate, the family Mugiai just built a new facility where they have 55 cows for dairy products for the staff, for retail as well as fertiliser for the plants and for the organic compost.
The FOB prices for this coffee is 6.25 USD a pound. The current world coffee market price is currently under 1 USD a pound, which is not covering for the coffee’s production cost and gives no profit for the farmers.