A single estate coffee from the Harries family, grown just outside the town of Thika
Lemon, Blackberry, Caramel
Producer: Boyce Harries
Altitude: 1500 masl
Varietal: SL14, SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11
Harvest: July 2020
Optimal brew beyond: Filter 7 days | Espresso 21 days.
RRP for 250 g: 159 kr.
RRP for 1 kg: 600 kr.
About the coffee:
This coffee is rather different from the vast majority of Kenyan coffees we have purchased in the past. The Harries family own some of the very few coffee estates in Kenya, so are able to produce coffee outside the cooperative system that dominates the Kenyan coffee lands. They take care of each step of the process themselves, from tree to export, so have a great deal of control over the final cup profile. This level of control allows the Harries the unique opportunity to create and export micro-lots, with specific varietals or new processing methods. This level of creativity and agility is not seen in the larger scale cooperative system in Kenya, which relies on consistency in larger lots in order to create secure income for the coop’s members.
The Harries family have been living in Kenya since 1904, initially moving to the country from South Africa. The current owner, Boyce Harries, is the fifth generation of the family to farm coffee here. They purchased a small plot of land near Thika, and initially grew several crops, including pineapples and agave. They moved further and further towards coffee in the years that followed, purchasing their first dedicated coffee estate, Chania, in 1926, named for the Chania river that it draws water from. In 1946, Boyce’s grandfather Peter Harries finished his studies in New Zealand and moved to Kenya along with his wife, a New Zealander. They purchased a new estate, slightly smaller and further up the ridge from Chania, and named it ‘Oreti’, a Maori name meaning ‘a place of danger and natural beauty’. Today they still grow coffee on both of these estates, and while we have purchased lots from Oreti in the past, this lot was grown at Chania. The lot is a varietal blend, made up of SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11 and SL14. SL14 is seen very rarely, an early selection of Bourbon from Scott Laboratories which was mainly superseded by SL28 and SL34 after they were found to yield better and tolerate disease. The Harries family have kept a small plot of SL14 on the Oreti Estate however, as they believe the cup quality is slightly higher than the varietal’s more modern counterparts. This washed lot has a rather typical Kenyan feel, with berries and citrus balanced by a rich caramel sweetness.