At Pact, we know there’s a whole lot of world out there to see – and that means there’s just as much amazing coffee to try, too! Not content with sticking to our tried and tested range of Colombian, Brazilian and Rwandan coffees (to name a few), Head of Coffee Will’s itchy feet have led us to Kenya. Exciting, huh!
What’s more, we let you, our well-seasoned caffeine fiends, pick which one of three carefully curated coffees we would bring back for everyone to try. And of the three, you chose Karinga Peaberry – the least typically Kenyan coffee of the lot. For your courage of palate, you were rewarded with a juicy body tinged with elements of cardamom and ginger, cutting through an intense edge of orange and with a citrus-like acidity. Nice work!
While the Karinga Peaberry speaks for itself, you might be asking – why Kenyan coffee? Despite being right next door to the home of coffee arabica, Ethiopa, some sources say that coffee didn’t come to Kenya until around 1900 at which point it quickly converted a nation of tea-drinkers… a surprising number of the Pact team can relate to this! Since then things have really taken off, with Kenya pioneering the washed method of removing the coffee beans from their cherry and developing a reputation for coffees that typically offer a clean cup, overtones of blackcurrant and a juicy body.
And why did it take off so quickly? One reason might be that Kenya is just a genuinely great place to grow arabica: its fertile volcanic soil and temperature and rainfall levels are ideal for coffee production, coupled with a high altitude which has a surprisingly positive effect on coffee flavour and quality. But they haven’t just got lucky: soon after coffee was introduced to Kenya, formal research began which continues today in the guise of the Coffee Research Foundation. From quality to yield, this work has ensured that Kenya are really making the most of their perfect growing conditions. And from all that, we’ve got the truly special Karinga Peaberry that you can now get your hands on!
You might be wondering about the farmers we’re working with in Kenya, and that’s one of the interesting things about sourcing coffee from this region. Unlike the wide expanses and rolling coffee farms of Brazil, farms tend to be comparatively small and made up of only around 25-30 trees. Instead of sourcing from one particular farm, we’ve partnered up with Karinga Factory – a washing station affiliated with the Gitwe Farmers Co-operative Society. Around 500-600 farmers sell their cherries to Karinga Factory, who process the beans and sell them on. The great thing about this is that each farmer gets a bonus if the beans make a particularly good sale – and with Pact as one of their buyers, you know that’s the case!
So with a great taste for you, a generous price for the farmers and a ninth country for us to add to our ‘Pact map’, we think we’re onto a winner with Karinga Peaberry and Kenyan coffee in general. Why not join us in raising a cup to that?