Kenya Evas Nyeri
Evas Estate, located in Nyeri County, is owned and operated by Dr. Rosemary Muroria. Her coffee lots were kept separate by a micro milling station to ensure traceability. The cup features the classic Kenyan effervescent acidity along with multiple delicate and distinctive flavors.
Rosemary is a medical doctor and widow with 2 teenage boys. She inherited the farm from her husband in 2014. Since then, she's been focused on producing high-quality coffees and processing them on her farm. Her goals are to increase the size of her farm while increasing productivity and quality. She is working closely with Sucafina Kenya/Kahawa Bora Millers to make these dreams a reality.
It is common for estates to have a mission statement and here is Rosemary’s:
Farm History, The farm is a conglomeration of different parcels of land with coffee within the same agro ecological area. Some parcels have been in existence for the last 50 years while others have been established within the last 5 years.
Vision - To be a leading top producer of high-quality coffee not only in Kenya but to the whole world.
Mission - To produce high quality coffee through ethical means by applications of Good agricultural Practices, taking care of environment and at the same time being sensitive and EMPOWERING the vulnerable groups within the community i.e. the women, youth and the children.
Core values - Honesty, trustworthy, integrity, transparency.
The name Nyeri is derived from the Masaai word “nyiro” meaning red, after the red volcanic soil in the area. The farm is 4.5 hectares and located near the town of Karatina, sitting 1,350 to 1,600 meters above sea level (masl). Evas is categorized as a small estate, a type which has traditionally had no easy access to processing equipment for wet and dry milling. Fortunately, Evas owns and operates its own wet mill on site (preventing it from being mixed with other farms' coffees at a centrally located factory or wet mill). However, dry milling is still difficult for these small estates, as they have lot minimums (usually around 50 bags of parchment). Our importing partner, Sucafina, has partnered with the dry mill Kahawa Bora to provide a micro lot milling line that was custom made to hull (remove the parchment from the green coffee beans) lots as small as one bag at a time.
Nyeri County has rich soil and a temperate climate, making it perfect for coffee farming. Much of the coffee here is cultivated in the foothills of the Aberdare Mountains, which have warm days and cool nights and a plentiful water supply. Evas is planted with the ‘traditionally’ grown SL34 and SL28 coffee trees and Ruiru 11. The ‘SL’ varieties were cultivars originally released by Scott Agricultural Laboratories (SAL) in the 1930s and 1940s. They soon became the go-to trees for many growers in Kenya due to their deep root structure, which allows them to maximize scarce water resources and flourish even without irrigation.The Kenya Coffee Research Institute (CRI) (which replaced SAL after independence) released Ruiru-11 in 1985. A hybrid of Catimor and SL cultivars, Ruiru11 is both CBD and CLR resistant, plus it can be planted at a much higher density than the SL varieties, making optimal use of small plots of land. Employees receive regular training from Sucafina in Good Agricultural Practices, including fertilizer application, pruning guidance and renovation advice, which helps him to keep his small farm in optimal condition. The team hopes that their work with Sucafina will enable them to improve yields and quality.
Evas is categorized as a ‘small estate’ in Kenya. This sector has, until recently, been frequently overlooked. Traditionally, many farmers of this size in the country did not own their own processing equipment. They have historically delivered cherry to a centralized cooperative-owned ‘Factory’ (as washing stations are called, locally), where their production is combined with that of others from their region. Evas, however, has its own small wet-mill where the farm is able to process its own coffee, ensuring full traceability back to the farm. Cherry is selectively handpicked and then pulped. Coffee is dry fermented for 12 to 16 hours and washed in clean water to remove any remaining mucilage. Parchment is soaked for 12 hours and then transferred to raised beds where it sundries for 14 to 18 days. As it dries, parchment is turned regularly to ensure even drying. Even for farmers who may have their own processing set up, the dry-milling set-up within Kenya does not well serve small-to-medium size farmers.
Dry mills have lot minimums, which are usually about 50 bags of parchment per lot. This is often unattainable for smaller farmers, necessitating that they merge their lots with others, losing traceability, which in turn lowers their overall returns and removes potential for name recognition and direct-trade relationship. To cater to single-producer lots that are very small, Kahawa Bora/Sucafina has a separate microlot milling line that was custom made to hull (remove the parchment from the green coffee beans) lots as small as one bag at a time. This line makes it possible for growers to maintain their own ‘brand’ when selling their coffee. We feel this is a push in the right direction for Kenyan growers to gain market access to quality-focused buyers overseas. Nyeri County is one of Kenya's most famous growing regions. The name Nyeri is derived from the Masaai word nyiro, meaning red, after the red volcanic soil in the area. The name was adapted by white settler farmers to Nyeri. Most farmers in the area today grow tea and coffee as cash crops. Coffee varieties in the region are usually a mix between SL 28, SL 34 (roughly 80%) Batian and Ruiri 11.