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Kenya Nyeri AA Plus - Uteuzi Jimbo
This Kenya is super unique in that it has a profile specific to a micro-climate in the Nyeri region of Kenya. Local variables like wind patterns, soil quality, sunlight, elevation, and other environmental influencers have much to do with the common characteristics that separate, say, a Northern Colombian from a Southern Colombian coffee. The differences in this Nyeri and normal Nyeri are small but still very noticeable. While this specific lot is not farm specific, the quality if top of the charts coming in at a score of 89. "Plus" typically refers to a coffee that is of higher quality than the grade listed. AA is the highest grade/largest size of bean in Kenya.
Uteuzi Jimbo is the Swahili term for “county select”. This means that the coffee is of higher quality. The Nyeri region boarders the Kirinyaga region, which is where we normally focus our Kenya buying from.
Farm: Small-Lot farmers from Nyeri region
Region: Nyeri County, Kenya
Process: Fully washed and dried on raised beds
Altitude: 1750 meters
Roast Level: Light/Medium
Brewing Recommendations: Drip, Chemex and Pour Over
This coffee is extremely creamy and smooth. It has some amazing milk chocolate notes with a nutty and dark honey undertone. It has a splash of the distinctively Kenyan light pink grapefruit note.
The first plants were brought to the country by Scottish and French missionaries, the latter contributing what would be known as French Mission Bourbon, transplanted from the island of Bourbon (now called Reunion) to Tanzania and Kenya in an attempt to finance their efforts on the ground. The Scottish, meanwhile, brought strains from Mocha, the different varieties contributing to the dynamic quality of the coffees in the country even to this day.
Established as a British colony specifically for its moneymaking potential, Kenya became a coffee powerhouse as a way for the empire to control both the tea (already a Kenyan staple crop) and coffee markets worldwide. By the 1920s, as Europe demanded more and more coffee, the cash crop became a major Kenyan export, and in the 1930s the auction system was developed, ostensibly to democratize the market for farmers. After Kenya achieved independence from Britain in the 1960s, coffee took on a greater importance to small landholders, many of whom were given coffee farms in the redistribution of private property from large colonial and government-owned plantations.
In the 2000s, approximately 85% of the coffee farms in Kenya are owned by natives to the country, though European influence is still evident in larger estates. Today, the majority of Kenyan farmers tend small plots, growing as few as 150 coffee trees: They bring cherry to centrally located mills, where their coffees are weighed, sorted, and combined to create lots large enough to process and export. There are also privately owned estates, though fewer than during colonial days: The average estate grows around 10,000 coffee trees.