Kenya Kiamutuira OT-15 - 5 lbs.
In Kirinyaga County is a coffee factory (wet mill) called Kiamutuira. The amount of neighboring farms that process there range from 350-400 different producers. The Kiamutuira factory is part of the famous Mutira Farmer Cooperative. We cupped three different outturns (a week’s worth) from the factory. We purchased Week 15’s AA after it jumped off the cupping table that was littered with about 80 other coffees. The AA refers to the size of the bean during sorting and their grading system. The beans pass through screens that are perforated with different sized holes and are used to separate beans by size. AA beans will not fall through screen size 17/18 and are usually considered the highest quality size for Kenyas. You will notice the uniformity and large size of the beans before you grind. This is our first year to buy a Kiamutuira. With how good coffees are tasting out of this mill, I suspect we will be continuing our relationship with the Mutira Cooperative through Dormans Coffee for many years to come.
KENYA & THEIR AUCTIONS:
Kenya has a pretty advanced coffee system. Two avenues are used to sell and export most of their coffee: the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE), also called Central Auction System; and a direct sale system with a marketer. Cooperatives tend to lean towards the first and use the auction system to sell coffees based on quality. You must be a licensed marketer to buy coffee through the competitive auction system by bidding on coffees. Auctions are held every Tuesday with samples of the coffees going out to the marketers and cuppers the week prior. This way you can cup the outturns for the week and decide which coffees you wish to bid on. Outturn refers to the week of wet milling and production of coffee. You’ll see a number next to all our Kenya lots which describe which outturn it was. We tend to like Outturns 14-21 which is in the middle to end of the harvest time and usually have the most nutrient dense and best-tasting coffees.
This year coffee production was down about 30%. As a result, the auction system for the higher cupping coffees reached almost unprecedented prices. While this does mean our Kenyas will be a bit more expensive this year, it also meant less competition, and we were able to purchase more lots than we normally do. This is our personal best year of sourcing in Kenya. We are excited to release some special lots all year long.
For a group of your fellow coffee nerds, brew this coffee on the Chemex! Try 55g of medium-coarse ground coffee to 900g of water. Bloom for 45 seconds with 100g, and in pulses, add water to hit 900 grams by 4:45. This coffee should drain between 6:30-7:00.
This coffee also makes a bright shot of espresso! Use 20 grams of coffee, pull 45 grams out (2oz) in 26 seconds.
Kenya Kiamutuira OT-15
We worked with Dormans Coffee to help bid on this coffee for us at the NCE. We paid $5.19/lb and cupped it at a 90. We happily contracted forty-two 67 kilo bags. While in Nairobi we happened to run into our friend Joe (Cafe Imports Australia), and he was generous enough to help us import this into the United States. Cafe Imports saved us a lot of paperwork, time and stress by throwing our coffee on containers they already had coming to the US. Tip your cup to them as well when you're sipping this beauty.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.43/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.63/lb when we purchased this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
- We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
- We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
- We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
- We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
- We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
- We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.
- We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
- We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.