Last roast date: Monday 22nd of February*
EXCLUSIVE NANO LOT OF 15KG
Owner Danson Wanyutu Karugouto
Area: Central Province, Kiambu
Farm estate size: 5 acres
Varietals: SL28, SL34
- Coffee sourced from our friends Melbourne Coffee Merchants whom visited the estate in 2019 for the 2020 crop
- Released in January 2021 in an limited edition 125g tub of 70 only
- Packaged in biodegradable bag +kraft tub with care by your roaster!
- Ink wash artwork by Mark Rose of Magnolia Mountain
Dagitu is a small coffee estate located in Kiambu County, in Kenya’s central highlands. The estate is owned by 69yr old Danson Wanyutu Karugouto and his wife, Josephine. Dagitu is a small piece of land in a larger family-owned estate named Docha, which Danson and his siblings inherited from their parents. Danson and Josephine manage both plantations and the family’s prosperous poultry farm, which produces eggs which are sold across the region. He has lived his entire life on the estate.
The entire estate – which is about 30 acres large – sits in the foothills of the extinct volcano, Mt Kenya, in an area defined by its bright red, nutrient-rich, volcanic soil and cool climate. Dagitu is Danson’s passion project; five acres of land where he can grow and produce coffee specifically for the specialty market. The plantation is beautifully maintained and intercropped with banana, avocado and macadamia trees to provide shade and potatoes, squash and cassava to provide ground cover. The chickens provide excellent manure for the coffee trees, as well as coffee pulp that has been composted after processing. The geographical conditions of the region are also ideal for exceptional coffee production and contribute to the outstanding quality of this lot.
The varieties on the farm are SL-28 and SL-34, which were planted by Danson’s father between 1955 and 1972. The trees have been continuously regenerated since that time, using a stumping technique where new stalks are allowed to grow from the stump to replace older stalks, which are then cut back when the new stalks reach full maturation. In addition to planting the farm, Danson’s father also built a small wet mill – or factory, as they are called in Kenya – on his land, which has the capacity to process up to 20,000kg of fresh cherry a year. This factory enables Danson and his family to process and dry their coffee independently of a Farmer’s Cooperative Society.
This approach has allowed Danson to control every step of the coffee’s production directly – from farming, to harvesting, processing, drying and sale – and gives him excellent oversight on each quality variable. Electing to manage the processing on such a small scale has required significant investment in infrastructure, equipment and staff. It is also far costlier to process small volume lots than large day lots. This investment has paid off, however, as Dagitu is now producing some exceptionally high-quality lots which fetch very high prices at the point of sale.
HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED
During harvest, Danson employs about 30 local pickers who have been trained to pick only the ripest red cherry. The pickers meticulously hand sort the cherry to remove any under ripes before processing. Pickers are paid by weight, or on a day rate when there isn’t much cherries to collect.
After sorting, the coffee was pulped using a pulping machine, which removes the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that protects the green coffee bean.
The coffee was then dry fermented for 12-24 hours, to break down the sugars and remove the mucilage (sticky fruit covering) from the outside of the beans. Whilst the coffee was fermenting it was checked and when ready it was rinsed and removed from the tanks.
DAGITU and SUCASTAINABILITY
Since 2017, Dagitu has received support from Sucastainability—a marketing agent that is on the ground directly helping Danson with training, education and support, and to secure the very best prices for his milled coffee.
Unlike other agents in Kenya, Sucastainability has a particular focus on working with small-holder farms like Danson that have the infrastructure to process coffee on their own estates, but whose lot volumes are too small to sell at auction. Though this can be challenging (the smaller lot sizes are more expensive to mill and market), it is worthwhile because it provides more traceability and transparency and ensures that premiums paid for the coffee are given directly back to the producer.
Kenya uses a grading system for all its exportable coffee lots. The grading system is based on the size and assumed quality of the bean. A coffee’s grade is directly correlated with the price it attracts at auction or through direct trade.
While it is assumed that AA lots represent the highest quality, we have often found peaberry lots to be incredibly complex and delicious although very small in volume – this “Kidogo” nano-lot was just 15kg! (“Kidogo” means little in Swahili).
WHAT’S IN A NAME
Dagitu (pronounced “dah-gee-too”) is the first three syllables of Danson’s name, along with the names of his two sons. Danson hopes that one of his sons (who both live in Nairobi) will eventually take over managing the shamba, just as he inherited his land from his parents.
EARLY PRE-ORDER LIMITED NANO LOT - Dagitu PB KENYA - 125g Filter Beans
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Ink Wash Artwork
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Last roast date: Monday 22nd of February*
*limited qty for online release / limited shop front qty - until sold out