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Rounded, currant, rooibos, light molasses
Kenyan coffee is some of the best examples of Strictly High Grown (SHG) / Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) coffee. SHG coffee is grown at altitudes 1,200m ASL and above, the high elevation resulting in slower cherry development and some extremely dense beans.
The initial ‘soak’ throughout the ramp key - making sure the heat penetrates all the way to the centre of the bean to avoid underdevelopment. Extricating these sought-after notes of blackcurrant and highlighting the incredibly vibrant acidity is a requisite in doing justice to the region. We push heat heartily to first crack and try to maintain a steadily declining rate of rise following the endothermic spike.
We've been supporting a new initiative in Kenya for a few seasons, aiming to bring about a 'revolution' in the way coffee is traded in the country. Over the past few years, many growers in Kenya have left the industry - low prices and late payments being the main cause of discouraged growers. In spite of the high prices paid for Kenyan coffees, most of this has historically not reached the producers - and certainly not in a timely manner. Most of Kenya's coffee exporters are affiliated with large European buyers creating an unofficial oligopoly.
Trabocca is changing all this. They're partnering with co-operatives like Thiriku, paying double the going rate for coffee, helping guarantee cashflow at important times (such as fertilising season) as well as helping improve agricultural practice and providing humanitarian aid in the community.
This push towards a more sustainable value chain in Kenya is vital in order to maintain - and improve - the distinctive cup profile we treasure so much!