Estate: Mwiboini Estate
Location: Small scale farm in Krinyaga county, central Kenya, employing local people.
Region: Kirinyaga, near Mt. Kenya
Varietal: SL & Ruiru 11
Harvest Method: Hand harvested
Harvest Year: 2019-2020
Certification: Direct Trade
Processing: Wet Mill
Annual Rainfall: Above 1100mm
Soil: Volcanic Loam
Cupping Notes: Hints of apple, citrus, hazelnuts, fruit and caramel, great for espresso.
Kenya AB Mwiboini Estate - Per Kg
Mwiboini Estate is a coffee farm located in Kirinyaga county, central Kenya, near the slopes of Mt. Kenya. The farm is owned by a small scale farmer who is a coffee enthusiast. The farm boasts of a pulping station and drying patios. It employs locals and most of its operations are by hand method. The coffees from the farm scores well on the SCAA scale and are well known for their outstanding cupping notes.
About the Farmer:
Mr Gichangi grew up on his father’s Coffee plantation. He is very passionate about coffee. After working in government for many years, he retired and took on farming full time. He has employed an estate manager and he exports his own coffee to countries such as Australia, China and other African countries.
Our decision to buy from Mwiboini Estate
Mr Gichangi is a farmer and a direct exporter and therefore sustains the livelihood of his local community. This farmer also encourages the Kenyan coffee drinker to enjoy their speciality coffee. He sells to the African market, advocating for Africans to retain some of the best coffees for their consumption. Mr Gichangi is a direct exporter of his coffee.
The future of Mwiboini Estate and education
Mr Gichangi’s estate manager is working with agronomists to sustain the quality of the coffee. Mr Gichangi also discussed various courses taken in Kenya to qualify as a Q grader.
Situated on the equator on Africa’s east coast, Kenya has been described as “the cradle of humanity”, due to the fact that in the Great Rift Valley, palaeontologists have discovered some of the earliest evidence of man’s ancestors. Kenya’s topography is incredibly diverse. The country is a land of mountains, valleys, open plains, deserts, forests, lakes, savannahs and a golden sanded coastline. With its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife, Kenya is one of Africa’s major tourist destinations.
Coffee was introduced to Kenya by French Missionaries, with seeds from Reunion Island in the 19th century. Despite its proximity to Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee – documents suggest that its introduction to Kenya wasn’t until around 1893, with the first crop of coffee yielding in 1896. Though large estates run by British colonial settlers were initially established, the Coffee Act of 1933 paved the way for the Kenyan Coffee Board, who began to oversee coffee production, quality control and auctioning. The introduction of the Swynnerton Plan in the 1950s successfully implemented family smallholdings and the cultivation of both cash and subsistence crops side by side. This dramatically increased smallholder incomes in the following decade, of which coffee accounted for around 55% of this increase. Today, around 70% of Kenya’s coffee is produced by smallholder farmers. Typically, a Kenyan smallholding or ‘shamba’ is comprised of shade-grown coffee, a house, the family cow and a variety of vegetables and fruit to sustain the family.
Kenya uses a grading system for all its coffee exports, based on the screen size of coffee beans. AA grades – above 18 screen size – reach the highest price at auction, followed by AB, PB, C and several under-grade qualities, respectively.
The development of hybrids during the 1930s brought about the highly successful SL28 and SL34 varietals – coffees that are now world famous and highly admired for their wonderful complexity in the cup and unrivalled lemony acidity. The country’s best coffees are grown in the Central Highlands on the southern slopes of Mt. Kenya to the north and in the foothills of the Aberdare Mountains to the west. Here coffee is grown on farms with altitudes of up to 1,800 metres above sea level and this, along with the fertile volcanic soils of the region, are key to the unbelievable flavours that can be found within the cup. The best coffees in Kenya are also produced by cooperatives, of which there are around 300 comprised of between half a million to 600,000 smallholder members. About 60% of Kenya’s coffee is produced by cooperatives, with estates and plantations making up the balance.