Karie AA

Tasting notes: Juicy, aromatic and sweet with notes of peach, blueberries, black currant and panela sugar, full body and bright acidity with a long aftertaste. 

Roast level: medium roast.

Karie is suitable for all medium to coarse grind brewing methods, like Filter Coffee, French Press, Chemex, etc. It is also suitable for Aeropress.


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  • Country: Kenya
  • Region: Nyeri County, Central Kenya
  • Town: Karatina
  • Farm: New Kiriti Farmers Cooperative Society
  • Owner: Approx. 800 members deliver to Karie Mill
  • Processing: Fully washed and sun dried on raised beds
  • Altitude: 1,900 metres above sea level
  • Varietal: SL 28, SL 34, Ruiru 11 and Batian

This AA lot was produced by numerous smallholder farmers, all of whom are members of the Rutuma Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) delivering to Karie Coffee Factory (as washing stations/wet mills are called in Kenya). The factory is located near the town of Karatina, in Kenya’s Nyeri County.

Karie has 836 registered members, but like many Kenyan coffee factories, only a portion of them actively deliver coffee in any given year. Currently around 800 members actively bring cherry to be processed. Amongst the members are promoter farmers who are trained to teach small scale farmer members Good Agricultural practices (GAPS). This extension service has an immediately positive impact on coffee quality from the mill, as farmers emerge from trainings with a better understanding of the impact of fertilisation, pruning and quality-driven harvest techniques on the price that their coffee receives at auction and with direct buyers. 

Accordingly, processing at the Karie wet mill adheres to stringent quality-driven methods. All coffee cherries are handpicked and are delivered to the mill the same day, where they undergo meticulous sorting. Factory employees oversee the process and any underripe or damaged cherries will not be accepted by the ‘Cherry Clerk’ – one of the most important harvest-period staff, who keeps meticulous records of how much coffee each producer delivers on any given day (and thus how much payment is due once the coffee has sold). Any rejected coffee will have to be taken home again, and the farmer will need to find a place to dry it (often a tarp in the yard) to be delivered only at the end of season as low quality ‘Mbuni’ – natural process coffee that earns a very low price. Thus, farmer members are incentivised to only pick and deliver the ripest cherry that they can. 

After being weighed and logged, the weight of the delivery and the farmer’s identification are recorded in the Cherry Clerk’s register and the cherries are introduced into the hopper to be pulped. Pulping will only begin when a sufficient quantity of cherries has been received. 

After pulping the cherries are delivered to one of the factory’s fermentation tanks, where it will ferment for between 12 to 48 hours depending on the ambient temperature at the time. After this, the coffee is fully washed to remove all traces of mucilage, during which time it will be graded. The coffee will then either be delivered to dry on the factory’s raised drying beds or will be soaked under circulating water for up to 24 hours, depending on if there is room on the factory’s beds (during the peak of the season, there is often a backlog). The coffee will dry here slowly over the course of 2 to 3 weeks, during which time it will be turned regularly and covered during the hottest part of the day.