Blackcurrant & Toffee
Harvest: December 2019
Producer: Gikanda Farmers Cooperative
Variety: SL-28, SL-34, Batian & Ruiru 11
Altitude: 1,600 - 1,900 masl
The central region of Nyeri is home to the extinct volcano of Mount Kenya. Here, the rich, deep red soils produce some of the best coffees in Kenya, and arguably the world. Gichathaini is one of three factories or washing stations that together form the Gikanda Farmers Cooperative. The washing station itself is located on the Eastern side of Mount Kenya National Park, 6km from the town of Karatina. The conditions for coffee growing here are near perfect; there is abundant rainfall throughout the year, and average daily temperatures range from 15°C to 26°C, with considerable cooling at night.
The same conditions that produce exceptional coffee is also the ideal climate for Coffee Berry Disease (CBD). This fungal pathogen has wreaked havoc in Kenya over the last few years and we believe it has fundamentally changed the flavours of the coffees that are produced here, and continues to do so. While it’s still possible to find those blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry laden cups, it is becoming increasingly difficult. The CBD-resistant hybrids, Ruiru and Batian, are becoming increasingly popular among farmers in severely affected areas, and for the first time, all the samples we tasted this year contained at least one of these resistant varieties.
Embracing the new normal, we’re excited about this new direction Kenyan coffee is taking, and what some coffees have lacked in purple fruit, they’ve gained in so many other ways. This year was one of the most diverse and interesting Kenyan cuppings we’ve ever had, and we couldn't be happier to welcome back Gichathaini AA to the range. With notes of blackcurrant, rhubarb and toffee, this coffee is juicy, sweet and very satisfying!