Country: KENYA
Region: Kavutiri County, Eastern Province
Owners: 750 smallholder farmers who are Members of the Murue Farmers Cooperative Society
Altitude: 1,800 metres above sea level
Variety: 90% SL28 and SL34, 10% Ruiru 11
Processing: Washed and sun dried

Winey acidity, balanced, clean and sweet. Cocoa, raspberries and apricot jam.

About Kianyangi (with thanks to Melbourne Coffee Merchants)

The Kianyangi washing station (or ‘factory’ as it is called in Kenya) is owned by the Murue Farmers Cooperative Society. It is located in Kavutiri, near the city of Embu in the Eastern Province of Kenya. Embu is famous for it’s borders to Mount Kenya, and the river Kamithumo, which is the primary water source for coffee processing at the factory.

The main harvest for Kianyangi is from November – March. Each farmer member owns around 130 trees on average. Their farms sit at an average altitude of 1,800m above sea level, and enjoy rich volcanic soil and ideal conditions to produce exceptional coffee. Around 90% of their trees are SL28, SL34; the remaining 10% is Ruiru 11.

After picking, ripe cherry is brought to the factory by smallholder farmers before it undergoes processing to remove the skin and pulp – known as the wet processing method. Five soaking pits have been established for wastewater management, and wastewater is also recirculated. The factory is using a disc pulper with three separate discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean. After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before it is cleaned and soaked for a further 24 hours. This process increases the proteins and amino acids, which in turn heightens the complexity of the acidity and clarity in the cup. After soaking, the coffee is spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and volumes under processing, and can take from 7 to 15 days in total.

Kianyangi currently receives assistance from Coffee Management Services (CMS), who have been on the ground directly helping producers improve their productivity and quality through training and education programs. In addition farmer members can benefit from financing through free advances before season. The objective of the programme is to establish a transparent and trust-based relationship with the smallholder farmers, helping to support sustained industry growth and driving the continued improvements in quality and in turn, the premiums it fetches.

Kianyangi won the Dorman Quality Competition in 2011 for the Embu district.