Kenya Thikagiki OT-15

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Nestled in the southern slopes of Mt. Kenya lies the Thikagiki Farmers Cooperative of Kiriani. Coming from a small cooperative, by Kenyan standards, this coffee is the first to arrive from our recent exploration of Kenya in February. We purchased this from the auction in Nairobi and have been longing for the arrival. This exotic coffee shows dynamic notes of hibiscus and cranberry with subtle notes of orange blossom and honey.

Kiriaini is a Kikuyu word meaning “marshy area,” and indeed the abundance of water and the fertility of the area are the reasons the area was selected. The factory opened in 1963 and still uses fresh river water for washing and fermenting coffees, which are then dried in the sun on raised beds.

Kenya has a pretty advanced coffee system. Two avenues are used to sell and export most coffee: the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (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 their 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. An 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 outturns between 14-21, which are in the middle to the end of harvest time and usually have the most nutrient dense and best-tasting coffees.

This year coffee production was down about 25% in Kenya. This means the auction system for the coffees that cupped higher reached almost unprecedented levels. While this does mean our Kenyas will be a bit more expensive this year, it also meant less competition for us. And we were able to purchase quite a few 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.

  • Roast: light
  • Acidity: bright
  • Body: nectar-like
  • Taste Notes: Orange Blossom, Honey, Cranberry, Hibiscus
  • Process: washed
  • Origin: Thikagiki Farmers Cooperative, Kiriani region, Kenya
  • Varietals: SL-28, SL-32, Ruiru 11
  • Altitude: 1,800 masl

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