A little over a two hours drive north from the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Nairobi, sits the second tallest mountain in Africa (Mount Kenya). At the base of this 17,000 ft stratovolcano is the county of Nyeri. At an average elevation of ~1,800 masl (6,000 ft), this region is known for its wet, mineral-rich soil that produces some of the most wonderful coffee in the world. Inside this lush landscape, and just below the dense forests of Mount Kenya, lies the Mahiga Factory from which this coffee hails.
The Mahiga Factory
The Mahiga Station has 400 members actively harvesting and delivering to the processing center each year. Overseeing the Station is industry expert, Daniel Kingori. The factory’s total cherry intake tends to hover around 130,000 kgs/year. Although the margins are razor thin for most Kenya Coffee’s being exported, the farmers in Nyeri are widely considered to be middle class thanks in part to the incredible quality of their coffee fetching above average prices year after year.
This station is one of 6 involved in the Red Cherry Project founded by Royal Coffee (our import partner). The Project was formed to encourage excellence and repay in kind. By paying farmers and washing stations a
premium for already high-quality coffee, the farmers and stations are able to reinvest in additional quality methods, thus, constantly improving the excellence of their coffee each year. Most notably, this means picking and processing only ripe cherries setting the stage for a delicious cup of coffee down the line.
The ProcessKenya is known for some of the most meticulous at-scale processing that can be found anywhere in the world. Bright white parchment near perfectly sorted by density and bulk and conditioned at high elevations is the norm,
and a matter of pride for generations of Kenyan processing managers. Ample water supply in the central growing regions has historically allowed factories to wash, and wash, and soak, and wash their coffees again entirely with fresh, cold river water.
With this water supply, the Mahiga Station has undertaken an especially unique and complex processing model for this coffee. Called the double fermented and double washed processing method, the coffee is first pulped on the factory’s new machine and then fermented underwater for 12 hours. It’s then washed to minimize mucilage and fermented underwater again for 12-36 hours. After this second fermentation, the tank is drained, filled with fresh water and soaked for an additional 16 hours. Lastly, the coffee is cleaned and sorted in grading channels and taken to drying beds for two weeks before delivery to Othaya’s dry mill. Unique indeed, this method has created a beautiful and rare cup of coffee.
Inviting, well rounded, vibrant, rich, sweet and a dash of spice, this coffee creates a unique and fun dance on your taste buds all cup long! Reminiscent of the iconic American drink, black tea and sweet lemon notes combine harmoniously to create the sensation of drinking a delicious Arnold Palmer on a hot summer day. Adding to that delightful memory, one is reminded of the joy and magic in picking a ripe cherry directly from the tree and tasting that burst of stone fruit sweetness. After enjoying that fruit burst, one is simply left with an alluring richness only comparable to that of spiced chocolate. We invite you to join us on this flavor journey and hope you are filled with enjoyable memories each time you take a sip.