About the Producer
We first visited the Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society and the Mahiga washing station in the winter of 2019. There are 400 farmers in the lush hills around the washing station who bring fresh picked, ripe cherries for processing to Mahiga. The factory is managed by Daniel Kingori, the former manager of the famous Rukira factory just a few miles up the road. The majority of the farms in this area are quite small, with only an acre or two of coffee in production. We were really impressed with the level of organization and transparency that we saw at their exporter and marketing agent, Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters (KCCE). KCCE is the only cooperatively owned exporter and marketing agent in Kenya, and they offer some of the highest returns to their producers in the country.
About the Coffee
Mahiga’s unique microclimate is in one of the highest zones in all of Kenya, well above 1800 meters. The added altitude kicks up the acidity, sweetness and dimensionality in the cup. This lot also benefits from double fermentation, meaning that the coffee was pulped, fermented in a cement vat for two days, washed, and then soaked overnight. The extended fermentation time in this traditional Kenya processing brings an added polish and complexity not found in most coffee origins. Lastly, Kenya has some of the best varieties of any coffee country in the world. The majority of this lot is composed of the coveted SL28 and SL34 varieties. These two important varieties were developed by Scott Laboratories back in the 1930s.
Why We Love It
Mahiga brings a level of crisp, clean fruitiness and depth that you can only find in the very best Kenyas in the world. This lot is produced and exported by a supply chain that honors smallholder farmers by offering excellent transparency as well as economic efficiency -- meaning that the majority of the price we pay goes directly to coffee growers, not business people in the middle. Look out for striking notes of blackberry and currant with a very long and bright aftertaste. Cheers!