||Kenya Chania Estate Natural French Mission 2018
||Varietal: French Mission
Boyce Harries is the current caretaker of the estates Chania and Oreti in Central Province; the farms have been in the Harries family for generations. Boyce oversees harvest, processing, and between-season upkeep.
Though climate change is shifting the seasons some, main crop is usually October–December, and fly crop from May–July. Boyce has begun exploring processing beyond the traditions of the Kenyan Washed process, and as an innovative producer interested in quality and experimentation, Boyce has also focused on growing some more unusual varietals, such as this French Mission.
More than 76cm of rain a year, combined with the deep red volcanic soil and temperatures of 22–28°C, come together to provide the perfect conditions for Boyce's coffee to express its true potential.
The permanent staff of 40 is multigenerational, many having worked and lived alongside up to three generations of the Harries family. The homes Boyce and his family provide for workers have clean water and electricity (which is unfortunately not always a standard for farm laborers in Kenya), as well as numerous extra facilities such as a social hall, nursery school, and a homework room. The employees form a self-elected committee which meets monthly to raise and discuss social, welfare, safety, and health matters.
The Harries family is active in the local community, donating more than 50 acres of land to the Thika Municipal Council and co-founding the Wabeni Technical Institute. The institute seeks to teach underprivileged children practical skills which can help them make a living (e.g. dressmaking, motor mechanics, carpentry).
French Mission is old Bourbon stock which gets its name because it was bought to Kenya from the French Reunion Island (where Bourbon as we know it can be traced back to) by missionaries at the end of the 19th century. It was one of the original stock which was used by Scott Labs to develop the SL varietals which are now famous. Although not a landrace varietal, French Mission could be considered an heirloom varietal for Kenya as it lost favour before being given a new lease of life in recent years.
In the cup expect big, boozy blackcurrants with a gloopy and thick texture. There's a wedge of lime squeezed in too, then as it cools, there's some raisin and a shoulder of cider sneaking in as well. It's all rounded out with a dusting of cacao on the finish.
Nearest town: Thika
Caretaker: Boyce Harries
Altitude: 1,525 m.a.s.l.
Varietals: French Mission
Processing method: Natural
Medium - through first and slow it down just a little before dropping with the very first pops of second as it hits the cooling tray.
"Quick Look" Guide
Blackcurrant, lime, raisin, cider, cacao.
Note: Cupping Scores for Sweetness & Aftertaste are actually 6.5 each, not as above (software limitation, allows whole numbers only)
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