Doondu is a 238ha 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. The estate is the largest of the group.
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.
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.
This coffee utilises an extended fermentation in 'anoxic' conditions to develop acidity and cup complexity. Ripe coffee cherries are carefully selected and floated in clean water to remove any immature or poor quality cherries, which float to the top of the tank. These top cherries are then packed into vacuum sealed GrainPro bags for 3 days to ferment.
After fermentation the cherries are dried in the sun on raised African beds for up to 6 weeks. After the cherries reach their optimum moisture content of 12.5% they are rested prior to secondary processing (hulling, grading and hand-picking).
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Great interesting coffees and always a friendly face!
Always outstanding and interesting flavoured coffees. I have been using you guys for years originally from wired cafe when you sold beans from there! My only comment would be on the bag size, they are slightly smaller 225g vs 250g compared to most other coffee companies which has made me consider other places.
This was my first experience of an extended fermentation when a fruit pulp is added to the coffee. It’s a really interesting taste and packs a strawberry punch which doesn’t taste synthetic like other similar coffees I’ve tried since. My best results were achieved using a flat bottomed brewer with a 12g-200g recipe.