Stitch Coffee

Kenya, Kabumbu 'Kidogo'

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Kenya, Kabumbu 'Kidogo'

Tasting Notes: Rhubarb, Green Grape & Sugarcane.

Country: Kenya
Region: Central Kenya
County: Kirinyaga
Estate: Kabumbu
Owner: Joseph Mugo Karaba
Altitude: 1,500-1,750 MASL
Variety: Batian
Processing: Fully Washed


Kabumbu is a small coffee estate in Kiambu County, owned and managed by Joseph Mugo Karaba. Joseph inherited the farm from his father, who first planted coffee in the 1960s. He and his family live on the estate which includes five acres of coffee trees and a small wet mill – or factory, as they are known in Kenya – where Joseph independently processes and prepares his coffees.

Kabumbu sits across 1,500-1,750 meters above sea level in the foothills of the extinct volcano, Mt Kenya. The area is defined by its bright red, nutrient-rich, volcanic soil and cool climate, both of which contribute to the outstanding quality of the coffees produced on this farm. Joseph recently made the decision to plant his farm with 100% Batian, a new hybrid variety that has been bred specifically for high yields and disease resistance, coupled with the potential for excellent cup quality.

Small-scale independent farmers like Joseph, who process coffees themselves, enjoy certain advantages over those who only sell whole coffee cherries to local Farmer Cooperative Societies. Perhaps most importantly, they are in a position to directly control quality from harvesting and picking, through to processing and drying. The resulting coffee reflects the incredible amount of hard work and attention to managing every single variable that influences the quality and helps the producer be in full control, ensuring their coffee reaches its full potential.

Choosing to process the coffee independently is not easy—or cheap. It is more costly to manage the post-harvest handling of coffees on a small scale without the efficiencies of centralized processing, and it involves more risk. However, the probability of producing exceptional quality, consistently, is far higher when a farmer is able to take full ownership over their own coffee production, and this higher quality should enable the producer to secure a much higher price for their coffee.