Gaturiri AA Washed - Kenya

Gaturiri AA Washed - Kenya

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Region: Nyeri

Flavour notes: pineapple, apricot, sugar cane

Variety: SL28, Ruiru 11

Altitude: 1750m

Located in the Nyeri region, on the southern slopes of Mt. Kenya, is the Gaturiri Cooperative and the farms of its 1,500 small-scale producers. Gaturiri is a Kikuyu word that broadly means 'the shrubs,' a place where people visit to collect herbs for medicines for humans and livestock. An affiliate of the broader Barichu Cooperative Society (which includes the Karatina, Karindundu, and Gatomboya cooperatives), the Gaturiri Cooperative has been at the forefront of specialty coffee in Kenya.

This lot comprises of the SL28 and the Ruiru 11 varieties of coffee. Single tree selections made at Scott Laboratories (established by the colonial British government in Kenya in 1922, it conducted agricultural research, as well as provided technical advice and training to Kenyan farmers) during the period of 1935-1939 were prefixed SL. SL28 belongs to the Bourbon genetic group, and was selected and bred for its drought resistance as well as its outstanding high cup quality. SL28 is one of the most well-known and prized coffee varieties in Eastern Africa. Over the years, it has even spread from Kenya to other parts of Africa as well as Central and South America. 

Ruiru 11 is a Catimor hybrid that came out of a coffee berry disease epidemic in 1968 in Kenya that led to the loss of 50% of national production in Kenya. The crisis sparked action. In the 1970s, the coffee research station at Ruiru, from which Ruiru gets its name, began an intensive breeding program, looking to create varieties that were immune to coffee berry disease and that kept a high cup quality. This finally ended with the development of Ruiru 11, which was released in 1985.

The Fermentation Process: Washed

After being harvested at peak ripeness, the coffee cherries are floated to remove defects and then are pulped mechanically, removing the majority of the fruit. The coffee is then placed in open-air tanks filled with water and ferments for 24 hours in the open air, gaining access to wild, naturally-occurring yeast. The coffee is then washed and then dry fermented for another 12-24 hours before being soaked in the tanks for an additional 12-18 hours. During this process, the starches break down into sugars and bring the coffee flavour alive. The coffees are finally then sun dried for 15-21 days on raised beds.