$1 per kg goes directly to our 'Brew good, do good' projects
Juicy and crisp
Green grape and blackcurrant
Country & Region Kirinyaga, Kenya
Owner Joseph Mugo Karaba
Variety SL28, SL34, Batian
Kabumbu is a small coffee estate in Kirinyaga County, owned and managed by Joseph Mugo Karaba. Joseph inherited the shamba (Swahili for ‘farm’) from his father, who first planted coffee in the 1960s. He and his family live on the estate which includes five acres of coffee trees and a small wet mill, where Joseph processes and prepares his coffees.
Kabumbu sits in the foothills of the extinct volcano, Mt Kenya. The area is defined by its bright red, nutrient-rich, volcanic soil and cool climate, both of which contribute to the outstanding quality of the coffees produced on this farm. Joseph grows SL-28 and SL-34 varieties on his farm, which were planted by his father when the shamba was established. The trees have been continuously regenerated since that time, using a stumping technique where new stalks are allowed to grow from the stump to replace older stalks, which are then cut back when the new stalks reach full maturation. In addition to these varieties, Joseph has chosen to plant a newer hybrid variety, Batian, which has been developed specifically for high yields and disease resistance, coupled with the potential for excellent cup quality.
Alongside the coffee shamba, Kabumbu Estate also has a small wet mill – or factory, as they are called in Kenya – on its land. This factory enables Joseph to process and dry his coffee crop onsite, rather than selling fresh, whole cherry to a local Farmers’ Society Cooperative. By processing his coffee independently, Joseph is able to control every step of the coffee’s production directly – from farming, to harvesting, processing, drying and sale – which helps him to ensure the full potential of his crop is achieved in terms of quality and price. The resulting coffee reflects the incredible amount of hard work and attention to managing every single variable that influences quality.
Choosing to process the coffee independently is not easy—or cheap. Managing processing on such a small scale has required significant investment in infrastructure, equipment and staff. It is also far costlier to process small volume lots than large day lots. This investment has paid off, however, as Kabumbu is now producing some exceptionally high-quality lots which fetch very high prices at the point of sale.
Kirinyaga County is part of Kenya’s former Central Province, which was dissolved in 2013. The area includes Murang’a, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Kiambu and Nyandarua Counties, and is traditionally the homeland of people of Kikiyu ethnicity. The central highlands of Kenya are considered to be one of the wealthiest areas of the country, due to the incredibly fertile land, geographical proximity to the capital, Nairobi, and close integration with the country’s colonial administration before Kenya gained independence in 1962. This integration afforded the communities of Central Kenya with opportunities for education, business and political prowess, despite the various injustices of the colonial government. The Kikiyu people have a long and proud history of agriculture and the region is farmed intensively, with coffee, tea and dairy being the most important modern crops.
Like Joseph, many of the producers in the region are second-generation landholders, whose parents would have purchased and planted the land in the 1950s and 1960s, after agricultural reform allowed for small Kenyan farmers to produce cash crops on their family farms (instead of only on large, British owned estates). Farmers in Kirinyaga grow coffee as a cash crop alongside food crops like banana, maize, macadamia, avocados and vegetables. Tea and dairy are also important sources of income for the producers.
Dose 15g | 250g at 94°C | 2:45
Dose 20g | Yield 50g | 28s
EK43 | Pro RO | 94ºc | Flat 8 bar
Transparency information for all of our coffees are contained within the product photos.
Farm gate Price paid to producer exclusive of all other costs
FOB (Free on board) The cost of transporting the coffee to port and loading onto the ship.
*All prices are in USD/lb at time of purchase.
If you have questions please visit our transparency page or contact us.
We roast on Monday and pack orders on Tuesday. Orders are shipped any day if stock is available. If your order is placed after 7am Monday we cannot guarantee that we will have stock available. In this case, the coffee will be sent the following Tuesday.
Instructions will be sent via email when you place your order. You will be notified when your coffee is ready for pickup, it is available to pickup 24/7. Please ensure you double check your name and order number before taking your order from the shelf.