Kabumbu is a small coffee estate in Kirinyaga County, owned and managed by Joseph Mugo Karaba (pictured). Joseph inherited the shamba (Swahili for ‘farm’) from his father, who first planted coffee in the 1960s. He and his family live on the estate which includes two hectares of coffee trees and a small wet mill, where Joseph processes and prepares his coffees.
Kabumbu sits across 1,500-1,750 meters above sea level in the foothills of the extinct volcano, Mt Kenya. The area is defined by its bright red, nutrient-rich, volcanic soil and cool climate, both of which contribute to the outstanding quality of the coffees produced on this farm. Joseph grows SL-28 and SL-34 varieties on his farm, which were planted by his father when the shamba was established. 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 these varieties, Joseph has chosen to plant a newer hybrid variety, Batian, which has been developed specifically for high yields and disease resistance, coupled with the potential for excellent cup quality.