Located along the western slopes of the Aberdare Range in Kiambu, Kenya - this coffee was grown on the outskirts of the small town Kigumo, Komothai. This area is known for their high productivity in coffee growth due to it’s close proximity to the Gatamaiyo Forest Nature Reserve, the Mount Kenya National Park and the Mugutha River that supplies moisture to the entire region. The result is a lush tropical micro-region oasis surrounded by dry, desert like land that helps with stabilizing temperatures.
Here most producers grow and process coffee at their homes before selling it to a cooperative or to a private mill. This specific coffee was grown in the backyard of Dorothy M. Gitau, which has been dubbed Mungenthu Estate. Coffee was first planted here generations ago, but in 1959, the estate was replanted with SL-28 and SL-34 varieties that were much more resistant to drought and diseases while being more bountiful crops.
This coffee from Dorothy Gitau is a tiny but mighty one, much like the peaberry mutation that the lot is comprised of. Most coffee seeds are grown with their own twin inside the coffee cherry. However, about 5% of the time, coffee undergoes a natural genetic mutation where it becomes an only child. The result is one dense seed that has been given the same nutrients as two, so essentially a concentrated in flavor, tiny coffee seed. These peaberries will then need to be removed during the milling process due to their abnormally high density and small screen size. Only the finest produced and best tasting coffees make desirable peaberry lots as they are a concentrated flavor version of their normally developed siblings.
Small lots like this are a gift to come by in Kenya. Until recent, traceability on these single producer micro-lots was almost impossible to achieve due to Kenya’s aging large scale infrastructure style mills. However, Kenyan exporters have started to take notice to the demands of specialty coffee roasters; smaller lots with traceability and high farm-gate prices delivered to quality producers. To accomplish this, these exporters have started to invest in the construction of smaller mills that are focused on the separation of day lots delivered by individual producers. Kahawa Bora was built in 2017 to specifically be one of these mills and we couldn’t be more thrilled to develop this relationship with them and Dorothy.