Kenya started with coffee production in the early 1900s and has for generations been known for its quality. Kenya has great altitudes, climate, and soil, and its varietals have adapted to the local growing conditions and have excellent cup quality. The coffees are truly unique and recognizable in flavor, and the coffee sector has developed a structure to maintain quality as well as traceability.
For more information on Kenya, see our earlier post here
The Tegu Factory (wetmill) is part of the Tekangu Cooperative Society in Nyeri in Central Kenya. Nyeri is known for coffees with intense, complex, and flavor-dense cup profiles. It is made up of mainly smallholder farms, each with some 100 trees. They are organized in Cooperative Societies that acts as umbrella organizations for the Factories (wetmills), where the smallholders deliver their coffee cherries for processing.
There is a lot of competition in Nyeri. Many of the farmers are surrounded by several wetmills. They are free to choose where they want to deliver their cherries as members. Due to the traditional auction system in Kenya, quality is rewarded with higher prices. The better factories will then attract more farmers by producing coffee getting the highest prices, as well as giving high payback rate to the farmers. This can be up to 90% of the sales price after cost of marketing and preparation is deducted.
Cooperative: Tekangu Cooperative Society
Wet mill: Tegu Factory
Altitude: 1750 – 1900 masl
Producers: About 900 smallholders in the surrounding areas deliver cherries to the wet mill.
Varietals: Mainly SL 28 and SL 34, some K7 and other random varieties.
Grade: AA refers to the bean size. AA in Kenya is screen size above 17/18.
Production: All coffees are pulped, dry fermented, washed, soaked and sundried
Process: Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. A 4-disc Agaarde pulping machine removes the skin and pulp. The coffees are graded by density in to 3 grades by the pulper. Grade 1 and 2 go separately to fermentation. Grade 3 is considered low grade. The coffee is fermented in concrete tanks without water for 20 – 30 hours to remove the mucilage. After fermentation the coffees are washed and again graded by density in washing channels and are then soaked under clean water for 16-18 hours.
Drying: Sun dried up to 21 days on African drying beds. Coffees are covered in plastic during midday and at night.
Soil: Mainly Nitisol. Nitisols occur in highlands and on volcanic steep slopes. They are developed from volcanic rocks and have better chemical and physical properties than other tropical soils.
Notes: Tegu is part of the Tekangu Cooperative society a very successful factory in Nyeri. They have in recent years been able to give more than 85% of the sales price back to the farmers, and are always able to get prices above the current market standards based on their cup quality. They have proved to be very consistent on quality over the years, and have great systems for traceability and quality control. This coffee is bought directly from the cooperative.
Cupping notes: Complex berry aromas. Black currant and warming dark fruit flavors. Currant and citrus-like pointed acidity profile. Intense, rich and complex, with floral notes in the finish. Clean, bright and elegant!