This coffee, pronounced "khin-a-moo-ee" comes from a factory (washing station) situated in Ngariama location, Gichugu division of Kirinyaga District. Kainamui is located on the slopes of Mount Kenya in the agriculturally rich Central Province. It lies at an altitude of 1,800 metres above sea level which makes it ideal for coffee production.
The Kainamui factory has 1800 members, 1100 of whom are men and 700 of whom are women. These producers are very small, owning on average just 200 trees. Varieties grown by these members are SL28 and SL32. With ideal conditions for coffee growing, farmers benefit from the mineral-rich red volcanic loam soils and high altitudes that are typical of the area. The Kainamui factory supports its members by providing them with advances for school fees, farm support and other emergency funds. They also provide agronomy training for all members.
The coffee is handpicked and delivered to the wet mill (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 24hours. 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. It is this system we have chosen for our Falcon Specialty offering since we believe it brings about better returns for the smallholder.
* This is 2016 crop that is showing some slight signs of age.