AA Karuthi, Kenya
Look for lime, blackberry, mango and honey notes when roasted for filter; Anticipate notes of molasses, plum, and pineapple when roasted for espresso
Producer: Othaya Farmers Co-operative Society
Varieties: SL28, SL34, Batian and Ruiru 11
Elevation: 1,845 masl
Flavour descriptors: berries, tropical fruits, molasses
Karuthi wetmill is part of Othaya Farmers’ Cooperative Society Limited, one of a few washing stations that form the cooperative group. The Othaya Farmer’s Cooperative Society is based in the heartland of Kukuyu territory in Nyeri County. Nyeri County has cool temperatures and fertile central highlands, with well drained red volcanic soils rich in phosphorus, lying between the Eastern base of the Aberdare (Nyandarua) Range, which forms part of the Eastern end of the Great Rift Valley, and the Western slopes of Mt. Kenya.
The combination of fertile soil, seasonal rainfall and high altitude provide the ideal climate for coffees characterised by high acidity, full body and ripe fruit flavours. Most coffees from Nyeri develop and mature slowly, producing very dense coffee. The slow maturation provides complexity that is also evident in the cup.
The Karuthi wetmill processes coffee cherries sourced from 378 farmers. The total farmed area is 82.8 acres with individual trees yielding between 5 and 10kg of cherries per season.
This specific coffee is processed at the Karuthi wetmill, where the fully ripe cherries are pulped, then fermented for 12 - 48 hours, depending on the weather, washed, and finally dried slowly over 2 - 3 weeks on raised beds until the moisture content is reduced to 10-12%.
Once dried, the coffee is then sent to Othaya dry mill where it is rested in parchment for 3 weeks before being hulled, cleaned and graded by bean size. Finally, the coffee is carefully hand picked before being weighed and packaged for export.
When roasting this dense washed coffee for filter, the recipe begins with a steep rise in temperature. This steep rise allows for the coffee to begin yellowing at 1 minutes, 50 seconds and begin the colour change and development of sugars at 2 minutes and 30 seconds. First crack begins at 4 minutes, 25 seconds. Due to the density of the coffee, the temperature only decreases slightly at first crack to ensure that development continues until the end of the roast. The roast ends at 5 minutes and 55 seconds, with 1 minute and 30 seconds spent in the development phase. Expect flavours that may remind you of lime, mango, black tea and honey.
The espresso recipe has a more constant and longer roast. The longer and more constant heat application results in more sweetness and a thicker mouthfeel in the cup. Yellow stage begins at 1 minute and 27 seconds, with colour change beginning at 2 minutes and 10 seconds, slightly earlier than that of the filter recipe. First crack begins at 3 minutes and 55 seconds, and is gradual and steady. The recipe ends at 6 minutes and 35 seconds, with 2 minutes and 40 seconds spent in development. Anticipate flavours of pineapple, berries, black tea and molasses.