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Tano Ndogo - Kenya

  • Region:

    Gitwe / Kiambu

  • Preparation:

    Fully Washed

  • Varietal:

    SL28 & SL34

  • Altitude:

    1850 MASL

  • Best for:

    Espresso / Filter

  • Flavour profile:

    Cherries, Blackcurrant, Caramel

  • Product info

    This is an Omni-roasted coffee which means it is roasted to highlight the flavour of the coffee and will work well in all brew methods.

    Farm info

    Tano Ndogo translates in Swahili to “The Small Five,” referring to the five brothers and producers with small plots of land who process their coffee together. In a region predominantly controlled by the large cooperative system, these five farmers have a unique micro cooperative set up. The coffee is grown just a couple hours north of the capitol city, Nairobi, in the mountainous, rich, red soil of Gitwe, Kiambu. In the cup we found this to be super juicy full of cherries, blackcurrant and a caramel sweetness.

    Tano Ndogo was established in 1965 and is exclusively using the famously complex variety, SL28. This, along with a good altitude of 1820 masl brings about some great, nuanced flavour character in the cup. Furthermore, the Muuru brothers, Francis, David, James, John and Joseph, are experienced coffee farmers as can be seen by the excellent condition of their trees.

    The Tano Ndogo wet-mill processes coffee using methods typical throughout Kenya. Local people are paid to pick the ripe coffee cherries between October and January and these are pulped using disc pulpers in the wet mill. The water used to float the resulting mucilage coated beans also aids quality separation by density, since heavier beans sink in the water whilst lighter beans float on the surface. By channelling these beans separately, three grades of parchment coffee are created; P1 (the best), P2 and P3. The parchment coffee is then channelled into large tanks where dry fermentation occurs during the following 24 hours or so. Once the mucilage is loose, the beans take on a pebble-like feel and so the fermentation process is halted by washing the beans in channels full of water, where further quality separation takes place, since low-grade ‘floaters’ can be directed away from the dense high-quality beans.

    Next, the parchment coffee is channelled to a soak tank where it sits in cold water for around 24 hours, a process which develops the amino acids within the beans and is thought to contribute to Kenyan coffee’s unique flavours. Next, the parchment is laid in a thin layer upon raised beds and allowed to dry under the sun for between 11 and 14 days. The coffee then undergoes a period of storage or ‘resting’ before being delivered to a mill where the parchment will be removed, and the coffee screened and cleaned to remove any defects. It will then be graded by size to create AA, AB, PB etc, and finally, it will be packed in grain-pro lined bags or in vacuum packs ready for export.


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