Kenya AA Maywal Estate
Tasting notes: Crisp, rich, sweet and lightly tart, savory edge, with notes of grapefruit, lime and red wine; delicate yet resonant, balanced acidity, light but impressively plump and satiny in mouthfeel
Story of the farm:
The mountainous, East African terrain of Kenya is made up of volcanic, loamy soil with a distinct red appearance. The richness of the soil provides fertile ground for cultivation of excellent coffee. The cultivation of coffee in Kenya is relatively new, initiated at the end of the 19th century by Christian missionaries who brought the seedlings together with religion. However, the combination of topology, mild climate accompanied by bright, almost tropical sunshine and seasonal rains serve to produce exceptional coffee that is unique to the region.
The Maywal Estate was established by a Greek couple Mammatas and Apostolos during the precolonial period. Also known as Maaikiou Estate, the name rooted its origin from the initials of the couple (MAA) and Kiu (KIOU) River which neighbors the farm. It changed ownership in 1974 when it was acquired by its present owners Mawara Investment. This coffee is particularly special because it is one of the few truly "single-origin" Kenyan offerings we purchase. Instead of being a collection of regional smallholders, this coffee comes from a single farm location and the quality of this coffee is a showcase of a single producer's efforts.
Kenya AA Coffee consists of the largest, most well-shaped and densest coffee beans, grown on plateaus that soar up to 4900-6800 feet above sea level. This ensures the presence of much prized aromatic oils that are essential to the production of the amazing aroma and distinctive flavor, graded on a scale by the Kenyan coffee board to denote the size of the beans, and subsequently, the flavor one can expect from them.
The "AA" grade marks out the very largest beans that naturally contain the largest amount of aromatic oils that are so integral to the coffee-drinking experience. As the highest grade of Kenyan coffee and considered to be one of the best Arabica coffees in the world, Kenya AA coffees are all produced from the finest Arabica beans. Approximately 2 million bags of coffee are produced each year from the coffee plantations dotted around the now extinct volcanic Mount Kenya.
This meticulously prepared East African coffee is one of Kenya’s most important and lucrative exports, known as one of the finest coffees available in the world and is much appreciated by coffee aficionados and connoisseurs. People are attracted to Kenya AA coffee due to the stringent standards of quality inspection and it is proven that coffees made with Kenyan AA coffee beans contain little or no bitter flavors.
The skin of the coffee cherry is first peeled off, after which the remaining beans are left to soak in a tank. Known as wet-processing, leaving the beans to soak in a fermentation tank allows the beans' own enzymes to loosen the residue that remains on their surface. This loosened residue forms a thin, parchment-like layer when the beans are dried in the sun, and can be removed with no trouble at all with a mechanical huller. The beans are then graded based on their size following the milling process. The painstaking roasting process ensures excellence when it comes to the coffee, much sought after for its bold, intense, full-bodied flavor that is accompanied by overtones of berry and citrus fruits and mild floral fragrance.
The national Kenyan coffee board deals closely with the small farms that produce Kenya coffee to safeguard the quality of the country's third largest export. The coffee board ensures that all coffee farmers, even some members of coffee-growing cooperatives who only have coffee lots of only a half acre, are kept up-to-date and knowledgeable on the agricultural aspects of their work. Quality-assurance is also aided by a high level of competition and pride among the farmers, who stand the chance to receive munificent incentives for the production of excellent coffee from their cooperatives.