Kenyan Karatina single origin coffee beans
£7.20 – £26.00
This Kenyan Karatina Single origin coffee bean is grown in a region that produced the best coffee in Kenya. Its high altitude along with the fertile volcanic soils of the region, is the key to the almost unbelievable flavours that can be found within the cup. The development of hybrids during the 1930s brought about the highly successful varietals, SL28 and SL34 – coffees that are now world famous and highly admired for their wonderful complexity in the cup.
This single origin Kenyan coffee has been sympathetically roasted by our Iron and Fire Master Roaster to bring out its superb character in the cup. Bright, full bodied and complex with a rasberry finish. Enjoy!
Note: We charge a flat rate rate of £2.60 for delivery and always ship within 2 days of roasting, typically 2-6 days after placing your order.
Farm – Barichu FCS
Altitude – 1800 – 2000 masl
Location – Karatina town, Nyeri district, Central Province
Preparation – Washed and sun-dried on African beds
Variety – SL28, SLl34
Owners – Cooperative members
Harvests – Main crop: October to December, Fly crop: April to June
The Karatina factory can be found mere kilometres away from the town of Karatina in Nyeri district in Central Province. It is affiliated to the Barichu Farmers Co-op Society along with the Karindundu, Gaturiri and Gatomboya factories. There are now around 4040 active members of this cooperativ and each member has on average around half a hectare of land for coffee growing alongside macadamia, beans, banana and maize. The area has deep, well drained and fertile red volcanic soil at altitudes of between 1800 and 2000 metres above sea level with 953mm of rainfall annually.
The coffee is handpicked by the smallholder members and delivered to the Karatina factory where it is pulped. This initially separates the dense beans from the immature ‘mbuni’s (floaters) using water floatation which means the denser beans will sink and be sent through channels to the fermentation tank. This first stage of fermentation will last for around 24 hours, after which the beans are washed and sent to the secondary fermentation tank for another 12-24 hours. Once the fermentation process is completed, the beans enter the washing channels where floaters are separated further and the dense beans are cleaned of mucilage. The washed beans will then enter soaking tanks where they can sit under clean water for as long as another 24 hours. This soaking process allows amino acids and proteins in the cellular structure of each bean to develop which results in higher levels of acidity and complex fruit flavours in the cup – it is thought that this process of soaking contributes to the flavour profiles that Kenyan coffees are so famed for.
The beans are then transferred to the initial drying tables where they are laid in a thin layer to allow around 50% of the moisture to be quickly removed. This first stage of drying can last around 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 coffee is then delivered to a private mill and put into ‘bodegas’ to rest – these are raised cells made of chicken wire which allows the coffee to breathe fully. Coffee is traditionally sold through the country’s auction system, though recent amendments to the coffee law of Kenya have brought about the introduction of direct trading whereby farmers can by-pass the auction and sell directly to speciality roasters around the world. We believe this system brings about better returns for the smallholder.
SL28: This varietal was created in the 1930s by Scott Laboratories as botanists searched for different mutations of Bourbon and Typica. It has copper coloured leaves and its beans are broad. It is native to Kenya and is relatively low yielding, however the cup qualities are highly sought after. Characteristics can include intense lemon acidity, great sweetness, balance and complexity.
SL34: SL34 was created in the 1930s as a mutation between Bourbon and Typica. It differs to SL28 as it has bronze tipped leaves. This could perhaps mean it has greater similarity to the Typica varietal. SL34 is known to be fairly resistant to heavy rainfall at high altitudes and produces top quality coffee with complex citrus acidity and a heavy mouthfeel..
SCAA – 83-84