SL 28 and SL 34 are the traditional varieties cultivated in the country since the early 1900s. They have the potential for high cup quality and high yields, but also highly vulnerable to adverse elements. The AA-grade indicates this coffee is of the highest quality, determined by the beans’ size and density according to the regulations governing the Kenyan coffee trade.
It is a long held belief that the washed process fully unmasks a coffee’s authentic character allowing the consumer to taste variety and terroir. It is still the norm for post-harvest processing at the cooperative-run coffee factories in Kenya. Selectively handpicked ripe cherries are further sorted for defects before being sent into pulping, which removes the skin and pulp from the seed. Residual mucilage is then removed through fermentation in tanks, followed by washing to scrub off any remaining traces of mucilage, and a soak.
This lot from the Kii wet mill was fermented in ambient temperature for approximately 24 hours, and washed using clean water from the Kii River, followed by a 12-hour soak. By this step, the coffee seeds in parchment would have a moisture level of around 55%. This will be reduced to 10-12% by laying them out to dry on raised beds under the sun for approximately 14 days.
Kenyan coffee is memorable for many specialty coffee lovers because it is generally fragrant, clean, juicy, complex, and also fuller-bodied, which is uncommon in most other fully washed coffees.