While the profiles of many Kenyan coffees are distinctly “acidity-driven”, this Kamoini AA selection is notable for its elegant balance, with a pleasantly integrated acidity and an incredible depth of sweetness. We love the velvety mouthfeel of this coffee and find deeply pleasing flavors of black currant, caramel, apricot, and mango.
This delightful coffee was sourced from Kamoini factory: one of 19 wet mills that together make up the Othaya farmer’s cooperative in Nyeri County, Kenya. It is one of the first Kenyan coffees sourced by the Long Miles Coffee team. Though better known as a progressive specialty coffee producer in Burundi, Long Miles has initiated a number of projects in Kenya that hold great potential for the future.
The Kamoini wet mill, located in the legendary Kenyan coffee region of Nyeri County, is one of 19 similarly sized member “factories” that together make up the Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society. The Othaya cooperative was established in 1956 with an initial membership of 250 local coffee farmers. Today, membership exceeds 15,000 farmers and the cooperative has made a name for itself as an incredibly well managed operation with a particular emphasis on quality control. Othaya staff cup samples of every lot that is delivered by member farmers throughout the harvest, and the society also owns and operates its own dry mill, making it possible for their team to oversee all quality aspects of their lots from cherry delivery through to export.
Kamoini factory was built in 1987 and approximately 600 Othaya cooperative member farmers deliver their coffee here to be processed during the annual harvest period (generally October-January). Coffee is processed at Kamoini in a manner that is quite common throughout Kenya. Following delivery, the coffee fruit is floated prior to being pulped (to identify and remove overripe or defective coffee cherries). After the coffee is pulped, the parchment undergoes approximately 72 hours of fermentation after which it is thoroughly washed to completely remove the sugary mucilage from the coffee seeds. Following this washing stage, the coffee is soaked in fresh water for 15-24 hours and then dried on raised beds for 14-21 days.
This particular selection from Kamoini was sourced by our friends and partners from the Long Miles Coffee Project. While best known for their remarkable work as producers of highly traceable specialty microlots in Burundi, the Long Miles team has initiated a number of exciting projects in Kenya and this particular lot is one of the first that they have brought to market in the U.S.
Given that top Kenyan coffees are often sold through the country’s central auction system rather than as a direct sale between coffee producers and international buyers, it can be very difficult to buy coffee from the same producers every year, or even to buy coffee with the same consistent profile and quality every year. Long Miles aims to respond to this perennial challenge by working directly with coffee farmers, and in collaboration with their local partners at the Thunguri Coffee Factory, to produce exceptional Kenyan microlots for direct sale to international clients. We will be watching the continued evolution of Long Miles Kenya with great interest and see significant potential in the longer term projects that their team has initiated.