This is our very first peaberry coffee and it has been a fun coffee to roast. Being a thicker denser bean, the peaberry develops differently in the roaster compared to normal beans meaning it took a bit more experimenting to get used to how this bean reacts and create a roast profile we’re happy with. In the end we went for a light/medium roast that showcases the lush blackcurrant sweetness of this Kenyan bean whilst retaining a nice medium body.
Our Kenyan peaberry beans originate from a little village in Kiambu, a few kilometres north of Nairobi. The Kandancy Estate has been producing coffee for over 15 years. In 2019 its owner, Mr Peter Kimani Mugo, decided to diversify his estate and split the original farm into subdivisions, each dedicated to a certain crop. As Mr Mugo was looking for an upbeat and memorable name for the coffee subdivision, he named it “Kandancy”. With no special meaning other than it simply ‘dancing’ off your tongue, much like his coffee!
Unusually for the region, Mr Mugo has installed a small wet mill on his farm to ensure that the cherries are processed in a timely manner and so he can control the quality of his production. Kandancy grows only Ruiru 11, a high-yielding, rust-tolerant hybrid variety that was developed in Kenya after the coffee berry disease epidemic of the late 1960’s and takes its name from the city of Ruiru where the research centre was located.
And in case you're wondering what exactly a peaberry is: inside a regular coffee cherry we expect to find two seeds with their flat fronts facing inwards, and their round backs facing outwards. The seeds of the coffee cherry are what is removed, processed, and roasted for consumers to enjoy i.e. coffee “beans”. Peaberries are the result of a natural mutation, or defect within the coffee cherry where only one ovule pollinates leaving extra space for the other seed to grow larger and rounder. This is a peaberry. However, not all one-seeded cherries can be defined as peaberries, as it is also possible for only one regular, flat-sided seed to develop inside a coffee cherry.
Bernhard & Carina, Durham Coffee
Buy our limited edition Kenyan Peaberry here.