blog: "KIRINYAGA" - Mount Kenya.
“KIRINYAGA” - Mount Kenya, Kenya
The Curated Coffee for August 2020 River Coyote Coffee Club has been named KIRINYAGA, in honor of Mount Kenya’s true name. The original Kikuyu name for Mount Kenya is Kirima Kĩrĩ Nyaga (Mt. Kirinyaga), which roughly translates from Swahili to “The Mount of the Nyaga" - or, Ostrich - as the patches of white snow against the dark rock on the mountain resemble the black and white plumage of the Kenyan male Ostrich. The British however, struggled with the pronunciation, and eventually it came to be known as - Mount Kenya.
This coffee was selected and roasted especially for the Curated Coffee Club’s August 2020 selection. If you are a member, you are drinking this coffee right now.
Region: Mount Kenya, Central Kenya
Altitude: 1600 meters above sea level
Varieties: SL27, SL34, & Bourbon
Process: Fully Washed & Sun-dried on elevated tables
Roasted Name: “KIRINYAGA”
Roast Level: Medium
Roasted in: Brooklyn, NY
Roasted By: Jay Nir, the River Coyote
IN THE CUP:
Body: Smooth and Rich, like a nice Red Wine
Acidity: Vibrant & Fruity
Aroma: Apricot, Vanilla & Honey
Tasting Notes: Brown Sugar & Black Tea with Floral Notes
I selected this delicious coffee produced by small-hold farmers in the Mt. Kenya region for this months Curated Coffee Club, and roasted them on a small but strong 500g Mill City Roaster, 1 pound at a time, at a Shared Roasting facility in Brooklyn, NY. To view an episode taking you behind the scenes of this roast, subscribe to the River Coyote Coffee YOUTUBE Channel, with this episode now in post-production being uploaded to the channel shortly.
Kenya accounts for less than 1% of total world production, with it’s relative rarity adding to the beans value. Kenya is known for high quality control and exceptional production, which brings out the best of the beans grow in Kenyan soil which is unusually fertile due to the presence of an active volcano system. The volcanic soil is rich in mineral nutrients that enhance the flavor of the coffee, with the added benefit of nutrient-rich soil allowing coffee to grow naturally without the need for extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides that are the norm for monoculture farming and a detriment to the environment. Kenyan coffee is grown in a range of altitudes, as high as 6,000+ ft, an elevation so high that it enables the coffee cherries to develop its most celebrated complex flavors. The Curated Coffee Clubs KIRINYAGA coffee for this month, grew at 5,250 feet!
Kenya grows two special varieties SL-28 and SL-34 that are very popular due to their flavors, and these flavors are only possible within the Kenyan ‘terroir’. Other countries have tried to replicate these flavors without success. SL34 can be found in this months KIRINYAGA coffee.
Small hold farmers in the Mount Kenya region over the years have grown to establish many washing stations, also known as wet mills or factories, where farmers bring their coffee cherry fruit for processing. Most use a unique processing method that’s a variation of the wet-process, but involves fermenting the coffee twice and rinsing with clean river water in-between. This extra fermentation and rinse enhance the clarity and brightness of flavors unique to Kenyan coffees. The regular harvest season is October through December. Coffee cherries are handpicked and double sorted to assure only properly ripe cherries are delivered later that same day to the wet mill. After de-pulping, traditional fermenting, and washing, the parchment beans are sun dried on elevated tables which are covered at night to protect the beans from dew. The dried parchment is stored and milled just prior to export.
Sitting on the equator, Kenya is endowed with a diverse range of mountains. Coffee grows freely on the slopes of Mt Kenya. At this high altitude, the low oxygen and cooler temperature slow the growth of the coffee fruit, allowing for the desired floral, sweet and fruity flavors to develop. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya. She is the second-highest Mountain in Africa, after Kilimanjaro, with the highest peak exceeding 17,000 feet.