Kenya - Ndimaini AB - Washed
KENYA - NDIMAINI - WASHED
Kenya has one of the most interesting and complicated histories with cofee: Despite sharing a border with the “birthplace of coffee”, Ethiopia, Kenya was one of the last places coffee was planted, nearly 300 years after the plant was first cultivated for sale. In fact, the varieties that were brought to Kenya had circumnavigated the globe before they found their way back to the African continent, mutating in various climates to create a profile that, once adapted to the rich soil around Mt. Kenya, resulted in the singular profiles that this country
has to offer.
The first plants were brought to the country by Scottish and French missionaries, the latter contributing what would be known as French
Mission Bourbon, transplanted from the island of Bourbon (now called Reunion) to Tanzania and Kenya in an attempt to finance their efforts on the ground. The Scottish, meanwhile, brought strains from Mocha, the different varieties contributing to the dynamic quality of the coffees in the country even to this day.
Established as a British colony specifically for its moneymaking potential, Kenya became a coffee powerhouse as a way for the empire to control both the tea (already a Kenyan staple crop) and coffee markets worldwide. By the 1920s, as Europe demanded more and more coffee, the cash crop became a major Kenyan export, and in the 1930s the auction system was developed, ostensibly to democratize the market for farmers. After Kenya achieved independence from Britain in the 1960s, coffee took on a greater importance to small
landholders, many of whom were given coffee farms in the redistribution of private property from large colonial and government-owned plantations. In the 2000s, approximately 85% of the coffee farms in Kenya are owned by natives to the country, though European influence is still evident in larger estates. Today, the majority of Kenyan farmers tend small plots, growing as few as 150 coffee trees: They bring cherry to centrally located mills, where their coffees are weighed, sorted, and combined to create lots large enough to process and export. There are also privately owned estates, though fewer than during colonial days: The average estate grows around 10,000 coffee trees.
Ndimaini factory is located near Karatina town, and services 1143 smallholder farmers from three local villages, each farmer growing about 250 trees per lot, as well as corn and bananas. The area's land is red volcanic soil, and the farmers also typically grow macadamia and gravellea for shade. At this factory, farmers are given advances to pay for schooling as well as necessary inputs for their farms, and there are trainings held every year by the factory manager.
Coffee in Kenya is typically traceable down to the factory, or mill level: Most farmers own between 1/8 to 1/4 of a hectare, and often grow crops other than coffee as well, which means they rely on a central processing unit for sale and processing of their coffee. Producers deliver in cherry form to a factory, where the cooperative will sort, weigh, and issue payment for the delivery. The coffee is then blended with the rest of the day's deliveries and goes on to be processed. Because of this system, which serves many hundreds to several thoughts of
smallholder farmers per factory, there is limited traceability down to the individual producers whose coffee comprises the lots.
Forest Fruits, Lemon Curd, Cola