Tano Ndogo AB (250g)
KOBO is currently offering two coffees from the same farmers in Kiambu Kenya. We find both absolutely delicious and want to give you the chance to explore the similarities and differences. Below you can find a presentation of the origin, the processing of the fruit and lastly – what makes the difference of the two coffees.
INTRODUCTION OF TANO NDOGO
Tano Ndogo means “The small five” in Swahili and is the name of a farmers group in Gitwe, Kiambu (yes, the village is called “Gitwe” – the same as the washing station of KOBO’s current Rwandan coffee!).
The five members include the Muuru brothers: Joseph, Francis and James and two neighbors David and John. The Muuru brothers inherited their farms from their father, who passed away in 2001 and have been cultivating coffee on their 3.3 hectares each ever since. The neighbors operate Gichega and Kariru farms, which are located just north of the town.
Farmers in Tano Ndogo farmer group cultivate SL-28 which was originally released by Scott Agricultural Laboratories (SAL) in the 1930s. SL-28 and SL-34 soon became the go-to trees for many growers in Kenya due to their deep root structure, which allows them to maximize scarce water resources and flourish even without irrigation and these cultivars are renowned for producing excellent cupping qualities and coffees with full flavour profile and great clarity. Here they are cultivated with a serious eye to sustainability and Good Agricultural Practices, with minimal environmental impact where possible.
Traditionally, many farmers of this size in the country did not own their own processing equipment. They have historically delivered cherry to a centralized cooperative-owned ‘Factory’ (as washing stations are called, locally), where their production is combined with that of others from their region. The members of Tano Ndogo however, have their own, small wet-mills where they are able to process their own coffee, ensuring full traceability back to their farm.
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 convey 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. Coffee is then fermented for 12 to 24 hours in a small tank before being washed in clean water to remove any remaining mucilage. All waste water from the washing process is cleaned to ensure environmental impact is limited.
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. The parchment coffee is thereafter transferred to raised beds where it sundries for 14 to 21 days. As it dries, parchment is turned regularly to ensure even drying.
SORTING AND SCREENING
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.
So the two coffees KOBO currently offer – AA & AB – are from the same farms, has been processed in the same way and under the care of the same people. Yet, you can discover the differences in flavour profile which is the result only because of the size selection. Two lovely coffees and two wonderful representations of great Kenyan coffees with floral notes, black currants, sweet lemon, grapefruit, stone fruit and much more, where one (AB) is elegantly showing the black currants, stone fruit, earl grey notes & sweet toffee where’s the other one (AA) is more full on with sweet citrus, abundance of jammy notes, raspberries and a big bouquet of flowers. We welcome you to be charmed by these beans.
Whole beans, Ground for espresso machine, Ground for stovetop/moka pot, Ground for filter coffee, Ground for French press & cold brew