Ruiru 11 is named for the station at Ruiru, Kenya where it was developed in the ’70s. The variety was released in 1985.
Initial tests of Ruiru were between Hibrido de Timor and Rume Sudan, but in later generations the SL28 and SL34 element were added through backcrossing to ensure high cup quality.According to the Kenya Coffee Research Institute, the ’11’ in Ruiru are code number which denote additional information. The first ‘1’ denotes the type of variety as a one-way cross between two designated parent populations. The second ‘1’ defines the sequence of release, in this case the first release.
The variety is becoming more widespread across Kenya due to its resistance to Coffee Berry Disease and coffee leaf rust. The variety can be planted at a density of 2500/3300 trees/ha compared to 1300 trees/ha for traditional varieties. The variety is also an early cropper, which connotes additional benefit to producers.