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KENYA KIRUGA AA

$22.00

Bright, tangy grapefruit and red currants with resonant, rich brown sugar and sweet vanilla spice.  

ROAST: Light
PROCESS: Washed
VARIETY: SL28, SL34

Clear

KENYA KIRUGA AA

$22.00

Bright, tangy grapefruit and red currants with resonant, rich brown sugar and sweet vanilla spice.  

ROAST: Light
PROCESS: Washed
VARIETY: SL28, SL34

Clear

COFFEE INFO

The flavors in Kenya Kiruga AA come from the SL28 and SL34 tree varieties which can only be found in Kenya. These trees provide the recognizable acid profile and depth of flavor that Kenyan coffees are known for. You take a sip and can still taste the flavors minutes later!

Similar to Ethiopia, Kenyan coffee farmers deliver ripe coffee cherries to a local washing station where the cherries are sorted, fermented, and dried for final milling. Each washing station may have as many as 1000 smallholder farmers delivering cherries at any given time. From there, the coffee is taken to a dry mill, where it is processed to its final quality and subsequently graded for quality. The coffee is then given to a marketing agent who builds a catalog of the coffees they will sell at the Nyrobi Coffee Auction. At the auction, coffee importers bid for different lots of coffee, securing the best lots for their customers.

This auction system is unique to Kenya, and it causes many difficulties for smallholder coffee farmers. While Ethiopian coffee trading has become increasingly transparent, Kenyan coffee trading is still shrouded in ambiguity. We know that the marketing agents make considerable sums of money through the auction system, but it’s unclear what percentage returns to the farmers themselves.

In short, the Kenyan auction system does not benefit most coffee farmers. These problems have created a desperate situation for Kenyan coffee as some farmers have begun removing their coffee trees and finding other crops to grow. Thankfully, there are organizations creating new pathways to equity for farmers.

PARTNERSHIP

Our friends Ben and Kristy Carlson at Long Miles Coffee Project are helping Kenyan coffee farmer secure direct networks with specialty roasters around the world. These relationships provide the fair payments and transparency that the central auction system lacks.

Historically, Kenyan governmental regulations forced international coffee buyers to cooperate with the central auction system. However, in 2006 the Second Window of Kenyan coffee trade opened, allowing washing stations and cooperatives to sell directly to international buyers. By working with Long Miles via the Second Window, we were able to completely bypass the exploitative auction system.

While Long Miles’ goal is to ultimately partner with smallholder farmers and operate their own washing station, the low yields of Kenyan coffee trees prevented Long Miles participants from producing large amounts of coffee this year. Luckily, Utopian was still able to secure two bags of truly exceptional coffee through Long Miles from a neighboring washing station called Kiruga.

Kiruga is one of 19 washing stations that make up the Othaya Farmer’s Cooperative Society. Othaya FCS washing stations are among the most widely recognized in all of Kenya. The flavors we found from the Kiruga station are what make Kenyan coffees amongst the most sought-after in the world.

In addition to producing their own coffee, Long Miles adds value to established washing stations by helping improve quality control measures. The coffees produced in tandem with these washing stations were purchased by Long Miles and then sold directly to roasters like Utopian who weren’t able to secure coffee from Long Miles’ own washing station. Unlike coffees purchased through the central auction system, Long Miles provided full pricing information verifying the portions of proceeds going straight into farmers’ hands.