Kenya Lenana by Various Smallholder Farms
Tastes: Plum pudding, rich fruit cake
Varieties: SL28, SL34
Regions: Kirinyaga & Nyeri
Process: Fully washed & dried on raised beds
The Lenana Program has been developed through a close partnership between Volcafe Specialty Coffee and VSC’s sister company in Nairobi, Taylor Winch (Coffee) Ltd. Named after one of the peaks of Mount Kenya (a holy site to the local Kikuyu tribe), the Lenana is a blend of several high-quality Kenyan auction lots. The Lenana coffees are grown by smallholder farmers on the slopes of Mount Kenya, in districts like Nyeri and Kirinyaga, at an altitude of 1600-1800 meters above sea level. The soils are rich in volcanic loam, providing ideal conditions for high-quality production, and precipitation levels average 1300-1400mm/year. Within hours of harvesting, the cherries are delivered to their local wet mill (known as “factories” in Kenya), where they are sorted, de-pulped and fermented. All Kenyan coffees are dried on raised drying tables, also known as “raised African beds,” for approximately two weeks. Coffees are then “rested” in conditioning beds for several weeks after, so the moisture content in the beans can stabilize, enabling a more study bean structure that holds on to its sugar content during storage and shipping.
In Kenya, coffees are brought to auction through marketing agents. While the producers maintain ownership of the coffees, the marketing agent acts as their steward, processing the coffee at the dry mill and separating it into the seven main grades of the Kenyan system. Samples are made available to all exporters a week and a half prior to sale, and then the coffees are auctioned off to the highest bidder at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. Lots can range in size from as small as three bags to up to 120 bags. Volcafe’s Kenyan Lenana is a selection of the best quality lots.
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