Roobos tea, blackcurrant and cherry, with brown sugar sweetness and plenty of concentration. Vibrant, and refreshing.
My last trip to Kenya was back in 2014, with Andrew Kelly of Small Batch, and before then with Tim Wendelboe during my stint with him. It's the origin I had the strongest connection with, and for many years the Kenyan cup profile was my favourite. It still ranks incredibly high, and remains the origin I get most excited by - Kenyan's typically have such vibrant, exciting profiles, so it's hard not be bushy-tailed when cupping harvest. Thankfully, I get to live through Aislinn and the team at Melbourne Coffee Merchants, and so here we have Stella's first of two Kenyan lots for 2022.
From MCM: Petit is a small coffee estate located in Kiambu County, in Kenya’s central highlands. The estate is owned by Peter Kugi Ndugo, who established it in 2010. Peter grew up in the area and is the son of a coffee farmer. After leaving his family’s shamba (‘farm’ in Swahili) to pursue a successful career in finance, Peter decided to return to his village when he retired. He inherited uncultivated land from his family (his elder siblings inherited his father’s coffee shambas) and decided to plant coffee and bananas and to keep dairy cows. Peter has since acquired more land and now has three coffee shambas totalling 10 acres, which make up the Petit estate.
Besides planting high-quality varieties and using excellent farming practices, Peter decided early on to build his own wet mill – or “factory” as they are known in Kenya – on the estate. This allows him to process the coffee independently rather selling his coffee cherries to a cooperative or private mill.
This approach has allowed Peter to control every step of the coffee’s production directly – from farming, harvesting, processing, drying and sale – and gives him excellent oversight on each quality variable. Electing to manage the processing on such a small scale has required significant investment in infrastructure, equipment and staff. It is also far costlier to process small volume lots than large day lots. This investment has paid off, however, as Peter is now able to prioritise quality and secure high prices for his coffee on the strength of its excellent cup profile.
When MCM chatted with Peter about the Australian coffee market, he emphasised his commitment to producing great coffees and building long term relationships with the Australian coffee community; “Tell them we are ready! Tell them we are growing the coffee for them!”
Petit & Sucastainability
This coffee was sourced through Sucastainability – a marketing agent that is on the ground directly helping Peter with training, education and support, and to secure the very best prices for his milled coffee. This is Peter’s third year working with Sucastainability and, as he says, he is “open to all good advice” on improving the yield and quality achieved at Petit. Head here to learn more about Sucastainability’s work in Kenya.
Responsibly sourced by the excellent team at Melbourne Coffee Merchants.
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