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WHAT’S IN THE BOX?! #45 – Intelligentsia


Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters
Celebrating 18 Years of Fresh Roasted Coffee
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This year we are proud to launch our first Kenyan mark: Kunga Maitu. In Kikuyu, Kunga means brave and Maitu means mother. Kunga Maitu is the name of a song performed by Kenyan children upon the return of their mother from the farm, mar- ket, or a journey. The song creates a refreshing mood for the tired mother and displays appreciation for her choice of goods and selfless service to the family. After the children sing Kunga Maitu, the mother is then allowed to rest and she is served a small snack.

by Michael Kearby

Our Kunga Maitu offering this year comes from the Gikanda Farmers Cooperative, and more specifically the Kangocho factory (washing station) located in the Nyeri District outside of the town of Karatina at the foot of Mount Kenya. The Gikanda Cooperative is one of the most successful and forward think- ing farmer’s groups in Kenya. They have invested in strong infrastructure and are known for paying some of the best prices to their cooperative members.

The conditions for growing coffee in the Nyeri District are almost perfect: high elevation, abundant rainfall throughout the year, fairly large temperature differences between day and night, as well as the renowned SL-28 and SL-34 cultivars.

In addition, the Kenyan traditions for post-harvest coffee handling are among the most effective of any coffee growing countries when it comes to preserving or enhancing cup quality. The Kenyan method allows for fermentation times lasting up to 72 hours – triple that of many other coffee growing regions. A combination of wet and dry fermentation followed by a post-washing 24 hour soaking period, strongly contribute to the astounding depth and intensity of flavor found in the coffee beans from the Nyeri District of Kenya.