Kenya Kiamutuira OT-15
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 describes which outturn it was. We tend to like 14-21 outturns which are 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 really excited to release some special lots all year long.
Try this out as a high-acid, high-sugar espresso or go for a more delicate, complex Chemex. For espresso try 20g in 42g out in 26 seconds. For Chemex, make enough for a group or a long day. Try 60g, ground on medium and use 1000g of water. Finish pouring by 6 minutes and drain by 7.5 minutes.
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 your 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 to only list what is shown 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.
**Direct trade for us means we visited, viewed the operation, approved of the ethics and treatment of staff. It also means, we cupped the coffees and they scored to our standards. Then we paid what the coffee was worth, which is always at least double Fair Trade price and usually even more. We then add a premium on top of the price to go towards social projects in the area or give back some how to the community at large to help cultivate a real relationship with the producer and region. It’s not a certification. There is no governing body that decides when something is direct. Direct trade is marketing, and it means something different for all companies, it is widely abused as well as applauded. We can only say what direct trade means to us.