Gulmarg SL34 - 350g (Kenya)
Cloudy Lemonade, Black Grape, Orangeade.
Process: Natural Sundried
Producer: Gulmarg Estate
Crop Year: 2021
Please note: We roast and package our coffee to order every Monday for postage the following Wednesday. To ensure we get your order in time, please place them before 9am on Monday.
This naturally processed, single varietal SL34 lot is from from Gulmarg Estate in Kiambu, Kenya. Gulmarg is a 145ha coffee farm first established by British colonists but is now one of 6 estates owned and operated by Sasini, a publicly listed company with a majority Kenyan ownership.
Sasini’s estates have long placed an emphasis on equity and community. In the case of the estates’ workers this involves the provision of living quarters, early child education, union membership and guaranteed payment above minimum wage. In collaboration with Olam Specialty and over 30 of our customers, they have also been able to invest further in the local primary school Njenga Karume. This has principally been through the building of a new computer lab to equip students with the IT skillset to maximise their oppotunities in an increasingly digital world.
Specialty natural processing is a rarity in Kenya, an origin traditionally dominated by fully washed processing alongside lower quality home-processed naturals. At Sasini, selected cherries are dried in the sun on raised African beds for up to 6 weeks. The cherries are carefully turned to ensure consistent drying process and prevent over-fermentation or mould formation, and are covered at night and during rain to protect against moisture damage.
Kiambu county is located just outside of Nairobi city. The region has a long history of coffee production and is famous for its large estates, which were originally established by British colonists in the early 20th century.
After decolonisation the estates were sold to local Kenyans who have been managing them since. While estates such as this used to produce the majority of Kenyan coffee, the increased urban sprawl from Nairobi, as well as the increasing land value in the region has meant that estate coffee production has gradually diminished, while smallholder production elsewhere has increased. Nevertheless, estates such as these continue a legacy of many generations of coffee production, supported by unparalleled local knowledge and experience.
Kiambu has all the ingredients for arabica coffee to flourish: it is close to the equator, has iron rich, semi-volcanic soils, abundant sunshine and consistently high altitudes up to 2,000masl. The cool night time temperatures in these fertile highlands allows cherries to mature slowly, developing the acidity and complexity in the final cup.