Kiss the Hippo Coffee - Kenya, Muchagara AA
Tasting Notes: Redcurrant, Rhubarb, Brown Sugar.
Recommended for espresso and filter.
500 Local Smallholders
|Cultivar||SL 28, SL 34, Ruiri 11|
|Process||Washed - Wet Fermentation
|Harvest||November - January|
Muchagara Factory is a wet processing centre in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. It was opened in 1959 and is the oldest wet processing centre in the county. The peaks of snow-capped Mount Kenya are visible from the factory, providing a stunning backdrop.The Kirinyaga region is rich in volcanic soil, credited for giving coffee in this area its vibrant acidity and berry dominant flavours. The cooperative processes and exports coffee, but it also works to promote the social and economic interests of its members.
This lot is made using a traditional wet fermented washed process, meaning you’ll be able to find lots of berry flavours reminiscent of the British summer. Expect blackcurrant, redcurrant, rhubarb and sweet caramel flavours with subtle floral aromas.
In the Kenyan washed fermentation method, farmers de-pulp the cherries immediately after harvest and place the mucilage-coated seeds in fermentation tanks, keeping contact with water at the minimum, for 36 to 48 hours. The fermentation helps break down the mucilage making it easier to remove, but also helps develop the mucilage’s latent fruit properties, imparting some of those properties into the coffee seed.
At this first stage, the fermentation is allowed to continue until most of the mucilage gets separated from the seed. The coffee is then flushed from the tanks into water channels where the agitation helps to rinse and remove the loose mucilage, stopping the fermentation process.
After the coffee has been cleaned, step one is repeated, and the coffee is left soaking in a secondary fermentation tank for 12 to 24 hours. This restarts the fermentation, but this time less sugar and fruit material is available. When this second stage is over, the coffee is once again run through water channels where any final residual mucilage is removed.
The coffee is then separated into lots, and the various lots are moved into their own water tanks where the coffees are soaked for an additional 24 hours. Since the mucilage has been completely removed, and the coffee is soaking in significantly more water, it’s assumed that enzymatic activity in the coffee increases in this soaking tank, resulting in a strengthening of the amino acids and proteins present in the coffee.
The soaked seeds are then taken out and placed on raised drying beds and spread to a depth of a couple of inches. The idea is to initially dry the coffee rapidly to drop the moisture content and reduce the risk of rotting. After this initial fast drying period, the coffee is heaped into 6-inch deep mounds and moved into a longer, slower stretch of drying to encourage the long-term quality of the green beans.