Tasting Notes: Rhubarb / Blackcurrant / Gooseberry
Origin: Kenya [Thika]
An intense concentrated sweetness and body is typical of Kenyan peaberry selections.
This coffee is rather different from the vast majority of Kenyan coffees we have purchased in the past. The Harries family own some of the very last coffee estates in Kenya, so are able to produce coffee outside the cooperative system that dominates the Kenyan coffee lands. They take care of each step of the process themselves, from tree to export, so have a great deal of control over the final cup profile. This level of control allows the Harries the unique opportunity to create and export micro-lots, with specific varietals or new processing methods. This level of creativity and agility is not seen in the larger scale cooperative system in Kenya, which relies on consistency in larger lots in order to create secure income for the coop’s members. This coffee is a great example of this, one of the very few naturally processed lots exported from Kenya this year, creating a rather different expression of Kenyan terroir.
The Harries family have been living in Kenya since 1904, initially moving to the country from South Africa. The current owner, Boyce Harries, is the fifth generation of the family to farm coffee here. They purchased a small plot of land near Thika, and initially grew several crops, including pineapples and agave. They moved further and further towards coffee in the years that followed, purchasing their first dedicated coffee estate, Chania, in 1926, named for the Chania river that it draws water from. In 1946, Boyce’s grandfather Peter Harries finished his studies in New Zealand and moved to Kenya along with his wife, a New Zealander. They purchased a new estate, slightly smaller and further up the ridge from Chania, and named it ‘Oreti’, a Maori name meaning ‘a place of danger and natural beauty’.