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NOTE: All of our premium Arabica coffees are roasted to City+ to Full City roasts, showing minimal-to-no surface oils….we want all of the flavor to stay in the beans until the coffee is ground! Despite the additional descriptors, the first flavor and aroma you'll think of is "COFFEE".

Kenya Kiambu Mandela Estate AB

Country of Origin: Kenya
Kenya Kiambu Mandela Estate AB
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Mandela Coffee Estate is located on the slopes of one of the many hundreds of tributaries that come out of the Gatamaiyu forest reserve and wind their way down hill
through the county of Kiambu into the Galana river, Kenya's second longest river. The Gatamaiyu forest is remarkable for the fact that it is only 40Km from the center
of Nairobi and it has a permanent population of African forest elephants, not a different species but generally smaller in stature than their larger cousins. The farm
itself is intercropped with a number of indigenous shade trees. Its peculiar shape is the result of many years of investment and expansion in small neighboring tracks
of land.
Mr Kiongo Njuguna - pictured in the thumbnil - is the owner of Mandela Coffee Estate. He lives a short 2Km down the road from the farm in a brightly painted yellow and
blue house down a sloping driveway lined with perfectly trimmed hedgerows. It is below the house that the Mandela Estate Washing station, parchment drying tables and
storehouses are located. I am reprinting the existing, exhaustive descriptor of Mandela's rather elaborate process as it is a detailed look at smallholder coffee farming at its best in Kenya.

Mandela Coffee Estate has two harvests in June-Aug (Early) and another in Oct-Dec (Late) which are typical of the region and are a direct consequence of the double rainfall
pattern, as each rainy period will stimulate a flowering of the coffee tree setting off the start of a cycle where 8-9 months later the ripe cherry will be ready for harvest.
Mandela Estates production tends to lean in favor of the late crop. As a consequence, the quality of the coffee is of an extremely high standard. The typically cooler
months prior to the late harvest allow the coffee bean to develop slowly. The ripening of the cherry is closely monitored by the farm owner and when the time is right the ripe
red cherry is hand picked into buckets early in the morning and loaded onto a truck for shunting down the road to the washing station. The harvested cherries are splayed out
on a patio at the wet mill in the afternoon light, with under ripes, over ripes as well as any sticks and stones being removed before the mass of round red cherries are tipped
into the hopper above the pulping station. The wet mill is built on the hillside and uses clean river water (wet processing) which is drawn up and poured into the hopper on top of
the heaped cherries, funneling them down through a polished chute into the pulping house where the outer fruit is removed between two rotating abrasive slabs driven by a the reliable
thump of a brunswick green lister engine.

The exposed coffee beans tumble out of the pulper into a channel of water, the floating beans are skimmed off, and the sinking, denser beans pass out through a hole in the bottom
spilling into the fermentation tanks where they spend the night. The next day the coffee is handled to see if the sticky sweet mucilage has broken down, leaving a rough parchment coating,
once "the feel" of the coffee meets the approval of the mill manager, water will be poured into the tanks to thoroughly wash the beans. Once washed, the sluice gates are lifted allowing the
coffee to spill out into the washing channels, in here the coffee slides down the gently sloping tiled channel. Wooden shunts are used to repeatedly push the coffee by hand back to the top of
the channel, this repeated action separates the denser beans as the lighter beans will race back to the bottom under the force of the gentle current, while the denser higher quality beans will
idle slowly down. Sun drying of the parchment coffee on raised tables is done under careful supervision, the parchment coffee is covered up whenever their is sign of rain or the sun's rays are
too harsh. The coffee is regularly checked for moisture and once it reaches the 10-12% target level, it is bagged up for transport to the dry mill.
This is a beautiful coffee, a tribute to the producer's skill at finding the nuance of the vaunted SL28 varietal, developed almost 100 years ago by Scott Laboratories for husbandry in Kenya.
The bean size grading "AB" is a scoche smaller than the "AA" but no less flavorful. Because the acidity is a bit tamer than a typical Kenya of blended varietals (SL28, SL34, Batian and Ruiru 11
being the most prominent), we are offering it in both a regular lightish roast as well as a darker profile for espressoheads....sweet and fruity (plum), chocolatey and a not-so-puckering SO espresso.
The pourover roast profile leans more to intense herbaceous and blackberry notes but sweetness is prominent as well in the finish.
Out of Stock

New offerings....Honduras Los Cedros natural process and special espresso Gary's Rx ...more
More Colombia Pink Bourbon en route... ...more
More luxuriant Nicaragua...microlots keep coming! ...more
Jill Younce of Painted Lady Coffeehouse, Milwaukie, OR
She's a [painted]lady! Jill Younce, owner of Painted Lady Coffeehouse in Milwaukie, OR, lives up to the name, as well as serving the best espresso in town!
"eating your beans straight because they're so delicious. You're a wizard or something. "
Chris M, Chicago, IL
Love us or hate us, everyone's entitled to their opinion. Drop us a line and let us know what's brewing in your cup!
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