KENYA Coffea Circulor Orbi Mixed AA Washed WXKenyaOrbiMixedAAWX250gTDC
Finished and shipped from Sweden with standard or express shipment worldwide. Learn more about production cut-offs and shipping here
An original, conscious and responsible research and circular production
“The Orbi-series enables us to share knowledge with partnering coffee producers for more advanced farming, fermenting and quality.”
Founder, Coffea Circulor
SCA SCORE 89.50
FLAVOR ALGORITHM AND DESIGN Ivica Cvetanovski
Roasted light based on conduction and moderate heat application with world class skill and care. A short roast, high front up heat, finishing with focus on fruity flavors and the juicy acidity to accompany our fermentation formulas.
Orbi, short for Orbit, is a collaborative, embracing and peripheral umbrella project with partnering producers to increase resilience, respond to the paradigm shift from traditional fermentation to contemporary methods in Kenya.
|Producer||Coffea Circulor (Ivica Cvetanovski & Macho)
|Varietal||Mixed varieties, Unknown ratio, AA-grade|
|Process||Washed, Dried in parchment|
|Trade||12.00 USD/kg (CEP)*. 30 USD/kg (TDC)**|
* CEP - "Customer Expectancy Price".
Here illustrating a typical/"standard Kenyan trade offering" (green coffee) which usually translates to a 16 EUR retail (roasted) on the market in 2021.
** TDC - "True Development Cost".
Here illustrating accumulated costs for administration, communication, research, development, fermentation, drying, milling, logistics, internal/import/export/shipping/certificates. No final production (roasting, analysis, distribution) is accounted for.
|Aroma||Green apple, Rhubarb, Rose, Yellow apple|
|Flavor||Blackberry, Orange, Rhubarb, Yellow plum|
|Aftertaste||Black currant, Bergamot, Loukoumi, Mid|
|Acidity||Pomelo, Citric, Juicy, Mid|
|Body||Creamy, Silky, Mid|
Coffee is boundless, timeless and touches people deeply all across different cultures and generations. We want to take you on a journey where you rediscover Kenya and a new approach to coffee production where the main product is not the coffee as a grain.
The 2021 Kenya projects and production is based on projects and results in the past and present such as:
- Study of botanical varieties in Kenya with focus on rooting systems, physical support, water and heat retention, nutrients, oxygen and soil interaction.
- Panama Finca Deborah Geisha Natural (pre-Afterglow) competition lot 2016 focusing on controlled drying environments, coffee cherry (cascara) and grain aging.
- Uganda Kwoti (a.k.a “Mzungu Project”) from 2016 with support from the Norwegian Government focusing on elevation-based harvesting and kickstarting fermentations.
- Isolated cherry picking, reduced water based fermentation formulas and drying projects in Kenya.
- Drying and macerated fermentation projects at Altieri farms in Panama.
In 2005, Coffea Circulor founder Ivica Cvetanovski observed the combination of coffee varieties at Kenyan coffee processing stations. This unification of coffee varieties that make up “mixed lots” at washing stations in Kenya removes the notion of “single estate” and “single variety”. Varieties such as SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, K7, etc. were “blended” without any particular notion taken to ratio. This is mainly due to small scale farmers / smallholder pick their cherries as a cash crop, delivery to the closest drop off point. Coffee cherries are often personally carried to a local coffee processing station. At the station, cherries are weighted and the producer receive a voucher based on the weight. The voucher can later be redeemed for cash, Mpasa (electronic cash) or other monetary funds. This method of a post-cherry delivery payment is well established in Kenya and also incentivizes the small scale producer to unfortunately not always pay attention the cherries to carry a certain quality. Coffee cherries rather convey a more important heft because it simply is the weight that pays at the nearest processing station. Additionally, no particular notion is put on which varieties are picked and delivered: “the end product is coffee regardless”.
Current status in Kenya
The notion of “single variety coffee” in Kenya has transformed to “Kenyan Heirloom”. Like its neighboring country Ethiopia, the term “heirloom” is a “collective” name for both identified and non-identified varieties. It is also a common practice to “mix” lots in Ethiopia, yet the “mix” occurs earlier in the chain of events - namely unconscious picking by the producers based on what coffee trees are present on their land. At times, some knowledge of specific plants on the producer own land is passed on by ancestors or in-depth botanic knowledge.
The Kenyan sorting mechanism of coffee as a grain is well established with its AA, AB, PB, etc. grades. However, there is no particular variety isolated approach or focus before reaching the sorting station and size-sorting. In addition, processing station workers are (mostly) instructed to quickly inspect cherries via visual cues, namely sort out possible greens and slight anomalies. Even if particular small scale producers harvest and bring a specific variety to stations, it is often “mixed” and not processed separately. This is also due to processing small scale or single lots are too small to be cared for. Another straight forward reason is that much more attention is needed for that particular lot to be processed separately. Attention means time and time is money. Namely, it has to be sorted, de-pulped, fermented in a dedicated water tank, dried in parchment on dedicated raised beds and milled separately. Each stage requires meticulous attention and responsibility, traceability and dedicated staff, individually. With the incentive to produce quantity before quality, this is where we are in 2021 and this is what has taken the center stage in our research and implementation.
Whilst there are some recordings of people in general noticing the sensory experience from Kenya “is not tasting as before”, the notion of “black currant” is absent, something that has carried the Kenyan signum, it is mainly as described the result and effect of underpaid coffee producers. With no incentive provided to produce high-quality coffee and focusing on quantity based on only picking cherries, cooperatively owned processing stations collect available coffee cherries and “mix them in one pot”. With no reference to ratios of the varieties being a key reason, there can be many more that go beyond our knowledge. Regardless, it is alarming and must be addressed from mainly two perspectives: quality coffee production requires attention and understanding from everybody - even end-consumers (both retail and wholesalers). Part of this is our developed Customer Expectancy Price (CEP) and True Development Cost (TDC).
Coffea Circulor is transforming the classic Kenyan coffee harvesting, fermentation, drying and trade model which has traditionally been focused on wet fermentation and coffee acquisition of processing stations. Since 2006, we have actively been working in Kenya to establish an open trade platform anchored in a solid pricing model based on the perception of the quality of the coffee. Transparency in Trade, Pricing and Quality was born in Kenya with principles rooted in our past work in the United Nations Environment Programme/GRID.
In order to mitigate the current status and scenario in Kenya, it entails to re-engineer the traditionally fixed-function-pipeline and current coffee value chain from the ground up. In simple terms, we had to restructure the by inverting the Kenyan coffee production pipeline to fit a non-washed fermentation production. All is done from the ground up, “from scratch”, and it is not done overnight:
- Grow, prune and pick isolated varieties at specific Brix levels with dedicated training for helper staff.
- Build internal infrastructure such as dedicated fermentation areas, drying and planning for future milling facilities.
- Careful monitor the changing environment which has been recorded to be changing in the region.
- Implement daily routines for sampling and assessment of ongoing fermentation formulas.
- Calibrate milling parameters primarily on our baseline fermentation where the grain needs attention to resting time in the dried cherry before de-hulling. The hulling procedure needs particular attention based on the specific isolated varieties due to various bean structures and sizes.
- Organize Kenyan export and also Swedish import documentation with dedicated transport.
- Visual and sensory analysis after receiving the goods.
- Analyze the coffee cherry for ORAC values.
- In parallel, roast, analyze and optimize each variety with attention to fermentation formulas.
In the past and present, significant research has been conducted on how the coffee cherry affects the grain. The entire ambition and implementation rests on an approach where we primarily focus our efforts on developing a highly nutritious coffee cherry as a final product and thinking about the coffee cherry as the primary objective rather than the coffee (grain) as the final product.
Our mission in 2021 was to additionally tackle the observed challenges spanning back more than a decade. in time and set clear goals that go with our visions. The term “coffee is a fruit” takes on a new meaning with our ambition to imbue the coffee with flavors and our previous recorded knowledge and study of nutrients of the coffee cherry. The result is something “for the people” and also “for the people of Kenya” where we show what is possible to achieve.
Key findings and executive summary from this years production:
- Implementation of a multiple variety isolation (MVI) strategy where several Kenyan varieties were explicitly picked and fermented separately, in particular SL28, Batian and Ruiru 11.
- Internal infrastructure (test, analysis and drying facility) has been built, knowledge and awareness has increased propelling Kenyan coffee production into new temporal interlude.
- Completely eliminated any use of water in our natural based fermentation formulas.
- Measuring the occurrence of defects pre- and post-harvest for each isolated variety and its effect on production.
- Residual products, mainly dried cherry (cascara) is both recycled in the upcoming seasonal production and upcycled in the current inline production, namely giving way for re-nurturing soil and producing new key products based on the coffee cherry.
- Reached out to neighboring coffee producers to enlighten and provide incentives to continue to grow and produce coffee based on our previous and current Kenyan operations and observations.
- Established a knowledge sharing programme with farmers in Nyeri to further upscale production and experiments.
- Implemented a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) model which extends our production areas to include additional coffee producers who pick and provide coffee cherries based on specific criteria.
- Employed several co-workers and established a new entity in Kenya, Coffea Circulor Kenya Ltd.
- Instituted self-sufficiency with internal financial funding, rendering staying true to our developed True Development Cost (TDC) pricing model. This model will and must be utilized and understood by parties entering the later part of the coffee value chain such as for example whole entities and end-customers. This will be rendering a CEP (Customer Expectancy Price) obsolete in comparison to ”other Kenyan offerings” on the market and the perception of how Kenyan coffee is priced to a final customer.
- Reduced the TDC with 50% from previous years offering due to efficiency and optimization across the project scope.
With the 2021 year production, by fully implementing our True Development Cost (TDC) versus Customer Expectancy Price (CEP) for the entire collection of proprietary developed coffees, this range of coffee is not able to be offered at an “expected price” that could be considered being “standard pricing” set by market actors for an origin.
Orbi Mixed WX is a non-isolated lot where (deliberately) no particular notion of varieties are isolated. This enables us to set a starting point for more elaborate studies in the future due to picking specific varieties is very resource intensive, both from a financial and time perspective.
Orbi Mixed WX is driven by Coffea Circulor's base method for wet processing. After picking ripe coffee cherries, they are delivered a local cherry collecting location. Here, the underripe and overriped cherries are sorted out to be fermented with similar sized and colored cherries. The cherries are pulped (removing the cherry) by squeezing through screens that separate the pulp from the interior grain/coffee bean. The seeds are then fermented in tiled tanks which are full of clean spring water. The cherries are submerged for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, the coffee is thoroughly agitated and then submerged again for a second 24 hours. After this second day, the fermented water and remaining coffee pulp on the beans are washed off with clean water and soaked again overnight. This step encourages the coffee bean to re-germinate which contributes to sweetness and depth. The fermented water is flushed out in auxiliary tanks.
The beans are slowly dried on raised beds for 21 days under supervision. During night time, the beans which are still in parchment are covered tarp to protect them from occasional rain. During daytime, the beans dry by the power of the sun. Upon reaching optimal moisture levels (11.5 – 12%) prior to removing the parchment, the beans are moved to bags before milling (removal of parchment and polishing).
Post-milling, the beans are sorted by screen size – classified as “AA” (18/64-inch) for the largest (though not necessarily the “best tasting”) beans and “AB” (16/64-inch) as primary grades. There are additional grades that are dismissed. In addition, "PB" is a "mono-grain", whilst each coffee cherry carries two grains, performing with a very dense and good sensory experience.
From here, the coffee is ready for a dedicated transport to Coffea Circulor's premises in Sweden with express service to ensure no aging of the grain is induced with slower paced shipping methods. This is extremely important when working with new fermentations.
Conclusions and future work
With Coffea Circulor proprietary produced coffees, people can experience them with the equal emotional power as when it was created and bend the human condition towards good. Our goal is to convey this experience which also contributes to the development of regions and cultures.
We at Coffea Circulor have decided to be understood as a brand that conveys emotional experiences in coffee products based on science, innovation, originality, socio-financial approaches, health, improvement of livelihoods, development, payment for ecosystem services and environmental care.
Additional work remains in various categories such as:
- Expanding production areas,
- Implementing more optimal sorting procedures,
- More help with administration and finances is needed,
- Reducing the TDC with the aim to bridge the gap to the CEP,
- Better understand how specific coffee cherry values affect the “quality” of the grain, not roasted and roasted,
- Climate/weather matters, except specific issues already recorded, will need more attention due to spontaneous fluctuations in the local weather affecting production facilities, and
- Additional analysis and conclusions to be drawn from the 2021 production.
As each picked coffee cherry is destined for specific fermentation formulas, we denote each lot carrying the same name with a morpheme. Below is a listing of most common fermentation practices. Please use this reference to better understand the differences between equally named coffees and their fermentation formulas. For example, read a suffix of "NASDX" such as Natural Anaerobic Slow Drying Fermentation".
||Coffee Cherry/ORAC-Centered Fermentation|
Our World Brewers Cup recipe, One (1:1:1), for Hario V60-01/02 with Hario VCF-01/02 filters:
- Coffee: 20g.
- Water: 300g @ 93-95°C, TDS: 10-50 mg/l.
- 100g of 20 second pours in 3 total pours at 0:00, 1:00 and last pour at 2:00. Finish at 3:00.
- Pour by pulsing in helix formation during 20 seconds, starting from the centre, 5 revolutions per pulse. Ensure no grinds persist on the filter wall in the last pouring pulse.
- At 01:00, 02:00 and 03:00, confirm the filter bed is flat and uniform. Avoid generating cavities and craters.
- Target a TDS reading of 1.40±0.02.
- Adjust only grind size and water temperature.
- Grinding: Target 600-800μm. Example: 28 turns from the finest setting on Comandante.
- If the flow ends past each minute, adjust your grind settings to finer and respectively for slower flow.
- The recipe, technique and formula is singularly linear and time efficient. Learn more about linearly up- and downscaling our recipe here.
Use water with balanced mineral content to optimize flavor and character. Keep Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) between 10-50 ppm or mg/l. We advise a temperature between 93-95°C for the best brewing experience.
Please store in a cool and dry place in order to secure freshness and quality. To ensure best possible experience use within 3 months after roast date and 2 weeks after opening. In various environments and setups, your brewing experience can benefit from opening the bag and closing it. Wait one day to brew. We have invested significant time to research the durability of the coffee by actively refining our roasting algorithms to ensure perpetual quality post 3 months of production. Our flavor-lock packaging technology is based on processing and roasting. This ensures persisting and stable aromas, flavors and pro-experience.
Start using at will. Brew immediately or wait several weeks. Prepare for a championship with a strategy. It all depends on your goals.
We recommend using the coffees by first opening the container/bag one day before the first planned brew to enable a natural aeration of the coffees. Use according to the following matrix and remember these are general observations given parameters such as continent, country, region, variety, altitude, process, etc. combined with Coffea Circulor processing and roasting algorithms.
Plan your acquisition according to production schedules (roasting), event attendance (home/championship) and shipping priority (standard/courier).
|0-3 days||Focused acidity|
|4-7 days||Optimal Coffea Circulor recommended praxis|
|8-14 days||Increased floral perception|
|15-21 days||Increased sweetness|
|22+ days||Increased balance|
|1+ month||Intact sweetness, peak intensity|
|2+ months||Inherent balance, possible reduced florals turning herbal|
Made by Kenya
Finished in Scandinavia
We also would like to extend our gratitude to Storm Lunde, Rick Barends, Saun Tan, Denizhan, Kiki, Mustafa and many more who have been part of our project and progress.