Coffee from Many Gardens Mt. Kenya's southern slopes are home to thousands of small coffee shambas, or gardens. Gardens are nurtured by smallholder farmers, who deliver freshly picked, ripe cherries to their cooperative pulping factories. This coffee, crafted from fully traceable sources of supply in Embu, Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties, epitomizes a typical great Kenyan coffee. Citric acidity, berry flavor complexity and velvety body all combine to produce a balanced cup, consistent throughout the year. Download Fact Sheet
Mt. Kenya National Park, and its surrounding forest reserve were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The lower slopes of the massive extinct volcano are home to a wide variety of animals, including monkeys, hyenas, elephants, buffalo, and even lions.
Straddling the Equator Mt. Kenya is Africa's second highest peak— reaching 5,100 meters ASL, and surrounded by ice fields. At lower altitudes, high alpine vegetation becomes thick bamboo forest and alpine rainforest. The lower slopes are home to large wild animals, notably elephant, buffalo, various antelope and giant forest hog, all of which enjoy the protection of the National Park and the forest reserve that surrounds the entire mountain. This combination of extreme altitude and equatorial location makes Mt. Kenya a particularly special coffee region.
Farmer Cooperatives Smallholder farmers, each with around 200 trees, work together in co-ops. Each co-op owns coffee factories (wet mills) to process their cherries. Coffee is one of the few cash crops of the area—others include dairy, macadamia nuts, and tea.
Collective Processing Farmer cooperatives own most of the wet mills of the region, and receive freshly picked ripe cherries from their member farmers throughout the harvest season. Smallholders harvest their cherries and deliver them to the mill on the same day, effectively collectivizing their production. Disc pulping and separation is followed by between twelve and twenty-four hours of dry fermentation, followed by washing and overnight underwater soaking. The resulting parchment coffee is very clean, and full of the flavors and acidity that make Kenyan coffees so famous.

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What We Look for in a Coffee
We are often asked what we look for in a coffee. We prefer to look at it the other way around—what is it that the coffee is allowing us to see, or revealing to us. We have the luxury of tasting all coffees produced in the country, and we look for very specific attributes. Great coffees will include citric acidity, berry and currant flavors, stone fruit, smooth velvety body and sweetness. Such coffees are not overly abundant and tend to shine on a counter like diamonds in the rough.
Seedling Nursery
One need that we identified with local farmers was access to coffee seedlings. We worked with a local coffee society to build a nursery to help meet that need. We provided the funds, and the coffee society provided the labor. Together we broke ground on a simple, yet durable 100 sq meter seedling nursery near the local coffee gardens. The project should produce 15,000 seedlings a year for the next five years, with the goal of doubling production among members within the coming decade. The nursery will supply the new Batian variety, together with the Ruiru hybrid—both are resistant to fungal diseases (leaf rust and CBD) and produce high yields. These varieties will complement the existing traditional SL varieties.
Lenana AA Sweet, citrus, and fruity with complex undertones.
  • Flavor Sweet, brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, lemon, and apple
  • Body Balanced
  • Acidity Balanced
  • 1 - Fragrance/Aroma
  • 2 - Flavor
  • 3 - Acidity
  • 4 - Balance
  • 5 - Body
  • 6 - Aftertaste
  • 7 - Overall
  • Cupping Score: 84.75
  • Quality: AA grade, screen 18 up
  • Producer: Carefully selected from fully traceable sources in Embu, Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties
  • Variety: Traditional SL 28 and 34
  • Processing: Hand-picked, dry fermented, fully washed, sun dried
  • Altitude: Average 1,700 meters ASL
  • Harvest: September to December
  • Packing: 65lb box  What’s this?
Lenana AB Sweet, nutty, and light citrus.
  • Flavor Sweet, citrus, lemon, black cherry, and tobacco
  • Body Balanced
  • Acidity Balanced
  • 1 - Fragrance/Aroma
  • 2 - Flavor
  • 3 - Acidity
  • 4 - Balance
  • 5 - Body
  • 6 - Aftertaste
  • 7 - Overall
  • Cupping Score: 84.5
  • Quality: AB grade, screen 16/17
  • Producer: Carefully selected from fully traceable sources in Embu, Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties
  • Variety: Traditional SL 28 and 34
  • Processing: Hand-picked, dry fermented, fully washed, sun dried
  • Altitude: Average 1,700 meters ASL
  • Harvest: September to December
  • Packing: 65lb box  What’s this?
Continue your exploration of Kenya: Pride of Kenya Micro-lot