Kenya Peaberry Muhugu

  • Kenya coffees have always been in a class by themselves. Coffee was first brought to the region by Catholic priests from French-occupied Reunion Island a few years before the turn of the 20th Century, eventually to be known as French Mission variety. Coffee quickly spread through the British colony as a cash crop, with stories of Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) and Elspeth Huxley (Flame Trees of Thika and The Mottled Lizard) vividly describing the scene of those early days in coffee farming. This coffee is a micro-lot I bought from my broker, Kathi, at Coffee Holding Company. It's a peaberry (the beans are round instead of flat-sided) from Muhugu Estate in Kiambu County, north of Nairobi and near the town of Thika. The farm sits at an elevation around 5,200 feet, which is ideal for coffee. The varieties are the famed SL28 and SL34, developed by the Scott Labs in the early 1930s, which give the coffee a delicious savory taste with citrus notes and a great acidity. This is a washed coffee that was dried on raised beds to improve its sweetness.
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