KENYA AA GATUGI VILLAGE RED CHERRY PROJECT, TRIPLE WASHED
Grower: 629 smallholders organized around Othaya Cooperative Society's Gatugi Factory
Region: Karima Hill, Gatugi Village, Nyeri County, Central Province, Kenya
Kenya AA: According to Royal Coffee Kenyan AA (indicating screen size) is the highest value export for the country.
Altitude: 1700-1890 masl
Harvest: October-December 2016
Soil: Volcanic loam
Red Cherry Project: Partnership between the Othaya and Aguthi Cooperative and CEO and Kenyan buyer from Royal Coffee. In essence, this partnership was created to increase the funding and creation of a methodology for isolating and enhancing the highest quality coffees coming from these cooperatives. This sort of project ensures exclusivity and indoctrinates other members to push themselves to become a model for exceptional performance. These types of partnerships are crucial to break the status quo of unfair Fair Trade standards which force farmers to trade coffee at commodity prices where traceability and true value is often lost. Farmers selected by the Red Cherry Project get guaranteed pricing, and importers like Royal Coffee get a high-quality product.
Varietal/Cultivar: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11 and Batian
Cultivar Background in Kenya: SL28 and SL34 were identified in the 1930's by Scott Laboratories, hence the "SL". Both are drought resistant and high producing, but highly vulnerable to Coffee Berry Disease. These two varietals were experimented with in the 1970's in order to breed a plant that combated CBD. From these experiments, Ruiru 11 was released, and it achieved many goals but the cup profile proved to be less coveted than its predecessors. After further experimentation, Batian was introduced. Some say that Batian will revolutionize Kenyan coffee, others are skeptical. According to the National Agricultural Laboratories, which replaced Scott Laboratories, Batain's genetic resemblance is more akin to that of an SL-28 than to the previously developed alternative to CBD Ruiru 11. Genetically speaking, the difference between Ruiru 11 and SL-28 is a single gene-spliced from a varietal known as Hybrid de Timor. This varietal happens to be from the Robusta species whose trademark is disease resistance and downfall is ultimately found in the highly bitter volatility of the cup.
Process: Ripe cherries are delivered to the washing station, where undergo a secondary hand-sort and then a pre-fermentation soak to remove any low-density cherries prior to pulping. After 72 hours of fermentation, and a second wash known as channel grading (the second wash) the wet parchment soaks for 16-24 hours in clean water (the third wash) More hand sorting occurs during parchment drying, where the coffee spends time under shaded tarps prior to skin drying. This method is used among others to prevent sun damage.
The cup: Combination of pink grapefruit and currant. Balanced fruit acidity, juicy, dried apricot and tamarind.