Kenya Thithi OT-15
The Murang’a region lies on the southern slopes of the Aberdare mountain range in central Kenya and on the northern section of Murang’a is the Thithi Wet Mill. While we were in Nairobi in February, a small sample of their AA’s from week 15 of production happens to hit the cupping lab we were staying. We knew we had to get it. You'll find delicate floral and honeysuckle notes with a finish of slight tannins, much like tonic water. This becomes a great refreshing Summer coffee that works well as an espresso or filter.
Murang’a is the source of several large rivers that flow from the Aberdare range. Plentiful, clean water, incredibly fertile soil and an ideal climate contribute to the quality of these beans, which are washed and fermented in river water and 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: delicate
- Body: creamy
- Taste Notes: Nectarine, Honeysuckle, Panela, Tonic Water
- Process: washed
- Origin: Thithi wet mill, Murang'a region, Kenya
- Varietals: SL-28, SL-32, Ruiru 11
- Altitude: 1,850 masl