Kenya - Mutitu
Tasting notes: Orange, peach, lime, cola
Produced by: Mutitu Washing Station
Variety: SL 28, SL 34
Altitude: 1750 masl
Processing: Kenyan processing, double fermentation
This coffee was grown in Kirinyaga region by the 600 members of the Mutira Farmer’s Cooperative Society. We named this coffee after the washing station or “factory” as Kenyans call it, where it was processed: the Mutitu Factory. Year after year Kenya produces the best coffee the world has to offer, and this coffee is no exception.
This coffee is made up of incredible, highly sought after varietals, and it was processed using a unique double-fermentation method, and is an AA grade coffee.
SL 28 is a coffee varietal unique to Kenya, and is widely considered the second best coffee varietal in the world (second only to Geisha). It is the outcome of a 1930’s experiment that combined varietals Bourbon and Mocha. The result ended in what today is known as SL 28, and the coffee world hasn’t been the same since. Known for flavor notes of black currant and fruit punch like juiciness, SL 28 is a rock star varietal. The SL 28 in this cup is mightily complimented by its cousin varietal SL 34. SL 34 comes primarily from an older Bourbon varietal called French Mission. The SL 34 adds an attractive citric acidity and gives the overall cup a creamy, full body.
The processing method for this coffee is a double-fermentation (sometimes called Kenyan fermentation) method invented and made famous by Kenyan “factories” like Mutitu. Rather than the typical 12-18 hours for washed process coffee, Kenyan fermentation takes upwards of 72 hours. The coffee is first de-pulped and floated in water. High density beams sink and are saved, and the less dense beans that float are discarded. The coffee is sent to a primary fermentation tank for 24 hours, then carefully washed, and then sent to a secondary fermentation tank for another 12-24 hours. Finally, the coffee beans are meticulously washed (yes, again) to remove all remaining mucilage and coffee cherry, while any leftover floating beans continue to be discarded. What remains are the densest, most meticulously washed coffee beans there are.
In the cup you will find a coffee that both shares and defies what we expect from Kenyan coffee. The mouthfeel is big and creamy, and the overall profile is juicy and very sweet. Somewhat unique though is the more delicate, lighter fruity character of this coffee, rather than a more typical dark fruited profile. We taste orange, peach, lime, along with brown sugar and cinnamon on the sweet end, and it finishes with a raisin, chocolate, and cola. It is as if a fully washed heirloom varietal Ethiopian coffee combined with what we think of as traditionally Kenyan. It’s stunning. You should try it.