The Kiambu district of Kenya is long known for coffee cultivation, but most of the production is from large farms aimed at hitting high quantities and lower price points.
Against this backdrop the Nyakiri Coffee Farmers Cooperative, of which Riuki is a part, stands out as a place where individual farmers can be rewarded for producing special coffee.
This area is old coffee farming land, not far from Nairobi, which is why it is dominated by large coffee estates. Many of the estates here are held by multi-nationals and farm coffee using agribusiness techniques with an eye toward yield.
That is why having a cooperative of small-holder farmers in the midst of Kiambu is special, and offers the members some better options than simply selling their coffee cherry to a mill at the day’s going rate.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Kenya Nyariki Cooperative Peaberry, from Buzz Killer Espresso in Chicago, Illinois. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Kiambu, Kenya
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Nyakiri Coffee Farmers Cooperative
elevation: 1200 – 1500 meters above sea level
cultivars: SL28 Peaberry
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The Kenya Nyakri has a malty sweet scent in the dry fragrance, and the wet aroma has fruit juice notes; a bit of peach and apricot, accompanied by honey and cocoa.
Diving into the first few sips of the cup and my palate is greeted with a thin, silky flavor and mouthfeel of caramel and honey. The coffee is immediately bright with the sharp electricity of a Fender Telecaster playing through a fuzzy tube amp; a bit of a lemon drop citrus acidity and mildly sharp cinnamon spice that nips at the tip of the tongue.
As it cools the coffee gets significantly more lively and juicy with beautiful notes of sweet maraschino cherry, raspberry, strawberry, plum, currants, and raisin. It each sip finishes cleanly and leaves behind a faint aftertaste of clove and black tea.
Medium body; silky mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
Even in the amazing crop from all over East Africa this season, this coffee is a standout. The Kenya Nyakiri, from Buzz Killer Espresso, is a real knockout.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.