Where in the world?
Ainabtany Coffee Farmers Services
SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11
Blackcurrant, Pear, Pink Grapefruit
What’s the story?
Once again, we can start a coffee write up with the phrase “Well, this coffee producer just kinda walked into the roastery”…because that indeed is how we met Sidney Kibet, who called in apologetically as he hadn’t made an appointment, he then however, told a fantastic story about Lot 20 coffee…and we do love a good story! And we love it even more when the coffee is this delicious.
As soon as we tried the samples Sidney brought, we knew we had something special to offer. The fragrance that hits you immediately are those classic Kenyan smells of blackcurrant and complex citrus, which carry through to the cup in a very satisfying way. Upon slurping, there are big blackcurrant jam flavours, also some mouthwatering juicy pear, balanced with a subtle pink grapefruit background note, all carried on a creamy medium body.
It makes for an excellent balanced espresso, it is blackcurrant jammy with a long finish of pink grapefruit, and a fantastic creamy body making it do that thing that wonderful Kenyan espresso does of being sweet, juicy, creamy, bright, complex and oh so satisfying, all at the same time.
Lot 20 Coffee is a project in western Kenya in Kericho, with the aim of bringing together a group of coffee farmers to market and export their own coffee. The traditional auction system in Kenya makes it very difficult for small scale farmers to keep control of their own coffee and see a return for their work in producing exceptional quality coffee.
This has long been the case in Kenya, where farmers can produce exceptional quality coffee using a washed process that has been well practised and perfected over the last 100 years. Once the coffee has reached the final stage of production the beans rest in their papery husk or “parchment” and then require a final stage of preparation, being put through a mill that removes this layer, making the coffee ready to prepare for export.
Traditionally, farmers or groups of farmers don’t have access to this equipment, so the coffee is transported to central milling facilities and then sold through the auction system. This lack of control of their coffee has often meant farmers can be exploited and not paid properly.
Lot 20’s ingenious solution for this is to convert a rice huller into a dry mill for coffee parchment, that allows them to finish the coffee production process themselves rather than sending their parchment off for milling then disappearing into big lots of regional coffee that are all blended together.
By keeping control of the whole process, Lot 20 can provide full traceability so farmers are recognised for their work and paid properly. It also means some truly delicious coffee coming from the incredibly fertile western region of Kenya, which has been criminally under-represented in specialty coffee as all the glory has gone to coffees from the highly reputed central regions such as Nyeri and Aberdare.
This coffee and the others produced by Lot 20 are from the western region of Kericho County. The area is blessed with the rich soils of the Great Rift valley, full of minerals and nutrients that are drawn up into the carefully nurtured coffee plants and the cherries they produce. This then packs the seeds (or rather, beans as we’ve come to call them) with thousands of flavour compounds, whose potential is preserved by the highly skilled washed process method farmers use to release the beans from the cherry.
Thanks to the work being done by Lot 20, we can appreciate the beautiful flavours offered from small scale farms in this region.
Our sincere thanks to Sidney for popping in, and the farmers he’s working with in Kericho for providing us such an excellent coffee to roast for you.
Brew Water: 200