Factory : Karimikui
Co-Operative : Runget’o Cooperative Society
Owners/Farmers : Around 500 smallholders
Variety : SL28 & SL34 (Peaberry)
Process : Washed
Region : Kirinyaga
Altitude (masl) : 1500-1900
Harvest Method : Handpicking
Our Kenyan coffee comes from Kirinyaga County from a coffee factory called Karimikui. The factory is a part of a Cooperative Society called Rungeto and it has over 500 smallholder producers as members.
Kenyan coffees are famous for their powerful aromas, crisp and refreshing acidity and clean flavor notes full of sweet berries and fruits. And Karimikui PB does not make an exception in this.
Rungeto Cooperative has an important role in developing the surrounding community. Additionally to processing coffee they have also invested in dairy cooling plant and fuel station that have created extra job opportunities. Furthermore, farmers can diversify their income with the milk from their cows.
Cooperatives and Coffee Factories – like Karimikui
Kenyan coffee producers are traditionally smallholders producing a few bags of coffee cherries per year. Thus it makes more sense to join forces with neighboring producers to process the cherries and start a Coffee Factory. Coffee Factories such as Karimikui are essentially washing and processing stations. Often Factories are also a part of a Cooperation which runs several factories simultaneously. Cooperatives take care of the marketing and selling the coffees forward on behalf of the whole community.
Every smallholder producer bringing their cherries to washing stations is also a member of that Factory and therefore that Cooperative. The members choose the management democratically thus making all the members also representatives of its governing board.
In Kenya the coffee prices are directly linked to cup quality. Thus Coffee Factories as well as Cooperatives need to have good management in order to gain good prices for the coffees for their members. The management has the final responsibility to overlook the quality of the arriving cherries. Only cherries that are red and mature result in high cup quality with desired flavor notes.
Kenyan Coffee Screening
Kenyan coffees are primarily but certainly not exclusively graded by their physical characteristic. First they are screened for their size and there’s altogether 13 different grades of which PB, AA and AB are the most commonly known. AA and AB are the biggest beans.
PB (Peaberry) is a special bean that occurs when there’s only one bean inside the coffee cherry instead of two and they count to approximately 5% of all coffee beans. Peaberries are a little smaller in size and round in their shape. This also results in different kind of flavor profile.