- On June 2, 2017
- best coffee, Coffee, collaborative coffee, dormans, kenya, kenyan coffee, kirunyu, kiumu, kiumu estate, vigilante coffee
When I stepped off the plane in Africa there was an energy in the air. It was 11pm in Nariobi and about 70 degrees. As my cab traveled towards my hotel we passed a herd of Zebras just outside the Airport entrance. I’d been waiting for 6 years to travel to Kenya to purchase our coffee offerings directly and as close to the source as possible. In the past, we have worked with various importers who purchased coffees ethically on our behalf but this time we’d be able to select the coffees first hand, choosing only the best lots that knocked our socks off.
I had 7 days to to cup through hundreds of samples and choose only the best ones I could find. I was traveling with 3 other European companies and their prospective green buyers. Our partners at the Collaborative Coffee Source were there to guide us through the trip and help us get our coffees home safely. In reality we were all competing with one another to buy great coffee for our companies and our customers. However, it became apparent that there is A LOT of great coffee in Kenya. Plenty to go around in fact. To date I have never seen such a large variety of interesting and exotic coffees on the cupping table. Kenya is now my favorite origin to travel to!
The farms we selected on this trip scored 87+ points or more on a scale to 100. Last year we were blessed to offer Gathiruini, a 95 point coffee that was our submission that got us 5th place at the U.S. National Roasters Championship) I did not have enough time to visit all three producers but I did make it to one farm, Kiumu owned by John Njoroge. John has owned the farm since 1982 after purchasing it from his father. His farm grows two varietals of coffee, SL 28 & SL 34, and about 70% of his land is dedicated to coffee production. The other 30% is tea production. John was even kind enough to send me off with a gift; a bag of tea! I was happy to send him off with a Vigilante Evolution T shirt and commitment to purchase his coffee.
Farm & Production Data for Kiumu Estate
Farm Name: Kiumu Estate
Closest town: Thika
Altitude (masl): 1875
Farm Size (ha): 14
Soil composition: red volcanic (some muram)
Harvest season: Main – October – December; Fly – May – July
Harvest peak: December
Varieties: SL-28 & 34
Process: Washed, with an 18-20 day drying time on raised beds
Number of people employed at farm: 4 permanent, 8 temporary, 50-100 pickers during main harvest
Pickers’ wage: 60 KSH/20 kg bucket
We’re very proud to offer all three of these amazing Kenyan coffees.
For now, Kiumu and Kirunyu are available, in the near future Kaguyu will be released.
Kenyan Offerings 2017
Kiumu – less than 100lbs available (get it while you can!)
Fragrance + Aroma: Peaches, Pineapple, Sugar cane
in the cup: pineapple, lingering, black tea & ginseng, vibrant, well rounded texture
Kirunyu – In stock for the foreseeable future
Tasting Notes: Fragrance & aroma: Dulce de Leche + toast
In the cup Mango, buttery mouthfeel, lemon, lingering molasses on the finish
Kaguyu – In stock for the foreseeable future
Tasting notes to come once we’ve dialed in this coffee at the Vigilante Lab.