Coffee Profile - Gerald Njagi, Kambarare Estate, Kenya - Washed Anaerobic
The export of coffee in Kenya is a very complex affair indeed, as best explained by Christopher Feran on his wonderful blog here. On top of that, natural processing and other experimental processing methods were nigh on illegal for producers. When I saw this coffee offered by Trabocca, my interests were, therefore, piqued to put it lightly! I have been of the opinion for some time, that anaerobic in any form and other experimental processing methods would be best used as a tool to increase the cup quality and, therefore, sales price of lower quality coffees. Rather than a way of making a coffee "funky."
Gerald Njagi Junior is a young farmer from Kirinyaga in Kenya. The third generation in his family to farm alongside his family, his goal is to produce the cleanest cup possible from Kenya's volcanic soil.
Given their rare ability to depulp and, therefore, process the coffee themselves thanks to Gerald Senior's work in the 90's securing over 5000 trees*, Gerald Jr set about helping his father to process the coffees and sought out Trabocca's help in exporting their coffees. In their first year working with Trabocca, they received record prices for their cherries, opening their eyes to the quality of their coffee and the possibilities it opened up to them.
This grade C coffee is not visually pretty. The beans are small and there are a large number of visual defects. In the cup, however, it is better than the majority of the AA and AB grade coffees I have tasted in the past 4-5 years. Gerald has successfully managed to take a low-scoring coffee and use masterful fermentation techniques to make it vibrant, juicy and sweet! With a bright rhubarb acidity, peachy stonefruits and creamy mouthfeel, we are very happy to have be able to offer you this coffee!
*the amount of trees necessary to be able to apply for a depulping license in Kenya.
All photos © Trabocca