Kamwangi AA - Lime, Strawberry, Black Currant
Producer: Ngariama Cooperative
Origin: Gichugu, Kirinyaga, Kenya
Varietals: SL-24, SL-34, Ruiri 11
Harvested: January 2021
Roaster: Drop Coffee
Roast Date: 02.09.2021
A coffee that we look forward to year after year. With it's classic Kenyan profile of black currant and a vibrant lime like acidity it perfectly reminds you of drinking a refreshing berry juice.
Joanna and her team in Stockholm work with that very cooperative from the region of Mount Kenya since eight years by now and the cup quality they produce year after year is clearly among the very best Kenyan Coffees out there. Roasted as clean as it can get, revealing only the characteristics of the unique soil, climate and Kenyan varietals without any notes of the roasting process.
Once again, thank you Joanna, thank you Ngariama Cooperative and the team at Drop for continuously striving for such quality and making it available to us.
Here is what Joanna writes about that coffee:
In Kenya, the process stations, or also called wet mills, are called factories. Kamwangi factory is one of two factories under the cooperative named New Ngariama Cooperative Society located in the region of Kirinyaga in the hills surrounding mount Kenya, with a third factory soon to become operational. This area is less known than its neighbour Nyeri but has surprised us from the beginning with some outstanding and memorable coffees.
The New Ngariama Cooperative Society is mainly made up of small farms, each with around 100 trees. In the Gichugu division of the Kirinyaga district where the surrounding farms to Kamwangi are located, the harvest started in early November. The farmers are organized in Cooperative Societies that act as umbrella organizations for Kamwangi and their other cooperative, where the smallholders deliver their coffee cherries for processing freshly every day after picking in a period of about two months, normally delivering about 25-50 kilo by foot or bike for a few kilometres. When arriving at the factory, each producer will sort their cherries manually to separate defect and lower grade since they are paid more in relation to quality.
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 varietal Batian which is more resistant than SL28 and SL34 for example. However, the Batian plant is not always as high in acidity or as intense as the Kenyan coffee we have had the last decade that Kenyan coffee has been known for. The soil and the weather is changing due to climate changes
When visiting Kamwangi factory, the manager Edwin Gichori is quick to speak of the work being done at the factory in order to help raise quality levels and of where changes can be made in the long-term.
Kamwangi gives a small advance payment to the farmers at delivery. Some well-managed wet mills are able to give more than 85% of the sales price back to the farmers; Kamwangi is in general able to give back 80% after the cost of milling and marketing is deducted.
Registered in 1997, Kamwangi is Rainforest Alliance certified and have a good structure for tracking payments to producers. They also have established soaking pits for wastewater treatment as well as good quality control systems for processing.
The FOB price we paid for this coffee was 4,98$/lb per pound.