Kenya Tambaya AB
12 oz whole bean coffee
Communities: Njiru-ini & Ruthanji
Washing Station: Tambaya
Altitude: 1550 meters
Process: Washed, dried on raised beds
Varieties: SL-28, SL-34
Tasting notes: Blood orange, peach, raspberry, caramel
Kenya is entirely unique in the world of coffee. The country has long been known for its high quality, distinctively fruited and intense profile. Most coffee in Kenya is grown by smallholders who each only produce enough for a few bags. Growers are encouraged to organize into cooperatives, which markets and sells the coffee on the community’s behalf. Farmers deliver their cherry to cooperatively owned washing stations, locally called “factories”, where the coffee is triple fermented and washed immaculately clean in a 72 hour process, before being dried on raised beds. Terms like “Kenya process” and “African beds”, now widespread in other coffee producing countries, are so-named to pay homage to the innovations of Kenyan producers. Factories organize their product into lots called “out-turns” that represent a small slice of the harvest, and then deliver them to Nairobi where they will eventually be sold, dry-milled, and exported. Buyers from all over the world come to Nairobi to cup hundreds of out-turns at a time from the best factories, many of which are bid on in a national auction.
Tambaya sits at 1550 masl and serves 843 members. The factory has implemented several initiatives to improve the quality of life for its members and employees, including technical services, schools, and medical credits. Through fertile terroir, exceptional varieties, and unparalleled processing, Tambaya demonstrates the irresistible quality and big flavors of great Kenyan coffee, from juicy dark red fruits to bright citrus, syrupy and sometimes creamy mouthfeel, and deep sugary sweetness. We did not buy any Kenyan coffee last year, and couldn’t be more excited to welcome it back to our lineup.
This is our third year sourcing coffee from Kenya through Red Fox Coffee Merchants, and our first year buying from Tambaya. We wrote a forward contract with Red Fox to buy 5 bags from Kenya, split between two different factories. Our friend Joel Edwards at Red Fox Coffee Merchants sent us a pre-ship sample of this lot to fill part of that contract. We scored it an 88.5 and purchased 3 60kg bags for $5.75/lb EXW. On the day we signed this contract the Coffee Commodity price was $1.19/lb.