Kenya Kainamui

Tastes Like : Red grape, currant, citrus

Origin : Kenya

Region : Kirinyaga

Varietal : Ruiru 11,SL 28, Batian

Altitude : 1650m

Process : Washed

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Kainamui is situated in Ngariama location, Gichugu division of Kirinyaga County. It was established in 1963, on the flowing slopes of Mount Kenya. The Kainamui factory has 2000 members, 1200 of whom are men and 800 of whom are women. These producers are very small, owning the average of only 200 trees.

 

With ideal conditions for coffee growing, farmers benefit from the mineral-rich, red volcanic loam soils and an altitude of 1,650 meters above sea level. A combination of 1800mm of annual rainfall and a temperature of 16-26°C is exactly what has seen voluminous coffee proportions delivered to the factory during peak season.

 

PROCESSING

The coffee is handpicked and delivered to the wet mill for pulping. This initially separates the dense beans from the immature ‘mbuni’s (floaters) by floatation which lets the denser beans sink and later sent through channels to the fermentation tank. This first stage of fermentation lasts for about 24 hours, after which the beans are washed and sent to the secondary fermentation tank for 12-24 hours.

 

Once fermentation is done, the beans enter the washing channels where floaters are separated further and the dense beans cleaned off mucilage. The washed beans then enter soaking tanks where they sit under clean water for another 24hours. This soaking process allows amino acids and proteins in the cellular structure of each bean to develop, resulting in more acidity and complex fruit flavours - a quality that distinctively identifies Kenyan coffee.

 

The beans are laid on the initial drying tables where they are spread in a thin layer lowering moisture levels to around 50%. This first drying stage cans last 6 hours before the beans are gathered and laid in thicker layers for the remaining 5-10 days of the drying period.  The dry parchment is then delivered to a private mill and put to rest in ‘bodegas’ - raised cells made of chicken wire to ensure the needed air circulation. Coffee is traditionally sold through an auction system, though recent amendments to the coffee law of Kenya, now allow direct trading whereby farmers by-pass the auction and sell directly to specialty roasters around the world.

 

Kainamui coffee factory has maintained an incredible state of production, both in terms of quality and quantity. However there is a notable decline in its total production for the last two years, which may be due to ecological factors among others.

 

In line with the rising awareness on environmental conservation, the factory has dug waste water soak pits away from the water source where the waste water is allowed to soak in back to the soil. Though lacking a waste-water treatment plan, the management actively encourages tree planting among its members.

 

Patrick Njogu runs the management at Kainamui, along with his unmatched team. They ensure all the coffee processes run smoothly and diligently. Some of their responsibilities include weighing coffee, hand-picking, green grading, storage, transportation, training, paying and addressing farmer complaints.