Kenya Gethumbwini lot 796

I’ve been sitting on this coffee for a little while as I didn’t feel it was ready and hadn’t reached its full potential. What do I mean by that? When coffee is first picked it a little green and closed. It takes a little time in the warehouse to calm down and be as good as it can be. Normally a couple of weeks in warehouse and in the container then in another warehouse in the UK before coming to us is time enough, but this was a strange beast.

Every time I have come back to check it on the cupping table it kept getting better. So I’ve been holding off and holding off putting it on the site, as it was opening up lovely.

So to read about it look below, to buy it click here, and to watch the in my mug scroll down a little bit more.

Gethumbwini AA from the Kiambu region is a coffee thats very well known to us. But just be aware. not all Gethumbwini is good. Its a huge farm and its impossible for a farm of this size to produce just good coffee, inevitably there will be some “commodity grade” that leaves the farms gate. To break this down in something easily understood (I don’t fully understand the intricacies) the way the Kenyan coffee market works is via a government run auction, and all the coffee is broken down into small lots and goes to an auction where importers and exporters can bid for the coffee they want. This coffee comes from lot 796 which is an amazing example of the quality that is possible from Kenya.

The Gethumbwini Estate has been owned by French company, SOCFINAF, since 1957. The farm itself is thought to be over 80 years old. General management is the responsibility of Group Manager, Mr. Harries, a second Manager, Mr. Ngungute, and his assistant, Mr. Gitonga.

The farm is located in the foothills of the Aberdare Ranges overlooking the Chania River some 40km north of Nairobi, 120km south of Mount Kenya and a few km north of the industrial town of Thika. It comprises around 1000 acres. Coffee is planted on approximately 360 hectares. Gethumbwini Estate is situated at an altitude of 1,800m (6,000 feet) and receives rainfall of 1,000mm per year which falls principally in two rainy seasons. The temperature ranges from 15-26C throughout the year. The area is rich in red volcanic soil making it an ideal place for the growing of fine quality coffee.

Gethumbwini coffees are processed by company-owned hulling facilities, offering employment to some 100 full time personnel and a further 200 seasonal workers during the picking season. Processing is carried out by wet pulping. The coffee then undergoes overnight fermentation before it is then washed, soaked and then sun-dried on raised screens (or ‘African beds’) after which it is then stored in conditioning bins until milled.

Abundant wildlife is found on the Estate and the farm members are educated about the importance of preserving these species which include snakes, hares, owls, weaver birds, hawks and – the main attraction – hippos.

Employees on the farm are provided with a number of benefits including housing with clean drinking water and electricity. Full medical care is also provided for both the employee and his/her family at a clinic with a qualified nurse on the farm. There is also a school for the workers’ children.

In the cup this is 100% big bold blackcurrant I mean huge Ribena berries stuff in there. If anyone tells you coffee tastes the same give them this and let them still say the same. Then it turns into smooth creamy milky deliciousness. This is one huge coffee. Now some like this acidity in espresso, but not me this is the perfect french press / filter coffee, and I truly mean perfect.


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Coffee:Gethumbwini Estate AA

Farm:Gethumbwini Estate

Varietal(s):SL28, SL34

Processing:Fully washed and screen-dried



Region:South central Kenya, north of Nairobi

Episode 26 on Tuesday the 12th of May 2009 Kenya Gethumbwini AA Lot 796 from Stephen Leighton

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  1. any word on the peaberry? I liked last years AA but loved the crazy peaberry.
    Also you say Geth don’t differentiate between what they put out, but isn’t the ‘AA’ at least a basic denotion of quality? Or is it all AA!

    Do more equipment reviews Steve, they’re super cool!

  2. Havent seen any peaberry yet, but will certainly look long and hard when it does turn up as a sample your geth last years was crazy good.

    AA is a very basic grade size of bean but the lot numbers are far more indicative of the quality’s of the coffee.

    Equipment reviews I’m not so good at, in fact I am rubbish at them. I’m sure there are more qualified folk out there than me when it comes to machines and alike.

  3. Ace! Here’s to hoping they match last years.

    I thought the one review you did was pretty nifty. I’ll be honest I’m mostly looking for thoughts on the hario vac pots you’ve got. I broke one of the chambers on my bodum, I’m wondering whether to replace it or grab a hario!

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