Kichwa Tembo - Kenya

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Tasting Notes: Pinapple, Kahlúa

Hale Taste Scale: 9 - Tart acidity and mellow candy-like sweetness.

Varietals: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11

Process: Washed

Elevation: 1,220 - 2,200 masl

Region: Rift Valley near the Maasai Mara National Reserve

Harvest Month: December - February

The Kichwa Tembo Story:

Kichwa Tembo means “elephant head” in Swahili, and for Cafe Imports, this mark represents the strength in the cups. Our Kichwa Tembo signature offerings present a classic, hardworking Kenya profile with citrus fruit like grapefruit, bright and tangy acidity, balanced sweetness, and some of the complexity expected from a Kenyan. We strive to offer high-quality Kichwa Tembo coffees as a price-conscious complement to our more traceable microlot offerings from this fabled growing country.

Most of Kenya's coffee is produced by smallholders delivering to factories (central processing units) who predominantly produce Washed coffees. Estates are also best-known for their Washed lots. The Washed process in Kenya may vary slightly from place to place, but it generally contains a soaking step that is unique to this growing country. First the coffee is picked ripe and depulped the same day, then it is normally fermented in open-air tanks made of concrete or cement for 24–48 hours. It's then washed thoroughly using water channels before being soaked underwater for 12–72 hours. It is then spread on raised beds to dry.

Sustainability and Conservation: Given its proximity to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, conservation and sustainable practices are crucial in the Kichwa Tembo region. Many farms and cooperatives in the area are involved in practices that minimize environmental impact and conserve the rich biodiversity of the region.