Flavor Profile Pomelo, clementine, vanilla, juicy
1,050 producers organized around the Ngurueri factory actory
1700 - 1900 masl
SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, and Batian
Embu County, Kenya
Fully washed and dried on raised beds
Ngurueri “factory,” or washing station, is located near the town of Kianjokoma in Embu county, one of central Kenya’s smaller counties that shares part of the vast outer forests of Mt. Kenya, along with Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties to the west—two of Kenya’s most famous for quality. Individual farmers in these fertile foothills average 250 coffee trees each, and half-acre plots per family. The Ngurueri processing station, or “factory”, as they’re known in Kenya, is one of three sites managed by the Murue Farmer Cooperative Society (FCS), an umbrella organization that centralizes management and marketing relationships for their member factories. Murue FCS has 3 additional factories under its management: Kianyangi, Kavutiri, and Gituara.
Kenya is of course known for some of the most meticulous at-scale processing that can be found anywhere in the world. Bright white parchment, nearly perfectly sorted by density and bulk conditioned at high elevations is the norm, and a matter of pride, even for generations of Kenyan processing managers who prefer drinking Kenya’s tea (abundantly farmed in Muranga county) to its coffee. 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. Conservation is creeping into the discussion in certain places--understandably in the drier areas where water, due to climate change, cannot be as taken for granted—including at Murue FCS where 2 years ago all factories replaced their disc pulpers with “ecopulpers”, models which use far less water to depulp and clean parchment.
At Ngurueri, cherry is hand-sorted for ripeness and floated for density before accepted and depulped each day. Fermentation occurs overnight, after which the coffee is washed in long cement grading channels, where it is agitated with fresh water and allowed to separate by density, producing 4 final grades of clean parchment. The coffee is then dried over a period of 9-15 days on raised beds, which are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control for optimal drying.
“14CE0001” in the title refers to this coffee’s “outturn” number. Outturn numbers are unique microlot codes that are given to each and every batch of parchment delivered to dry mills from individual factories or estates anywhere in Kenya, and are the units on which Kenya’s entire microlot export system is built. Outturns in Kenya are tracked with a shorthand code that places the specific batch of parchment coffee in time, place, and sequentially with other coffees. Outturns are stylized as an 8 or 9-character code, including a 2-digit “coffee week” number, a 2-letter mill code, and a 3 or 4-digit intake number for the coffee’s delivery. This particular code accompanies the lot throughout the entire journey from factory to export to ensure full traceability.