Unlike our other three Kenyan coffee selections this year, all of which hail from the country’s Kirinyaga region, this lot from Githembe is produced in Kiambu county. We’re finding it less berry-driven, with more florality and a tangy apple-like fruitiness
The Washing Station
The Githembe washing station, or factory, was built in 1969, as a pivotal point for processing high-quality Kenyan coffee. Once coffee cherries are delivered there is an initial sorting phase overseen by the reception clerk. They use a traditional 3-disc Agaarde pulping machine, and the depulped mucilage-covered parchment coffee is graded before and after fermentation for Kenyan AA coffee, meeting the strict criteria. They practice a dry fermentation stage of between 18 and 24 hours after which point the mucilage is scrubbed off in tiled washing channels, which aid in grading the coffee by density. The coffee is subsequently soaked to improve cleanliness and homogeneity.
In an attempt to safeguard against theft, the processed parchment coffee is transported to another factory run by the same Farmers’ Co-operative Society as Githembe (Thiririka FCS) for drying, where they are able to consolidate their security resources.
The Farmers’ Co-operative Society
Thiririka FCS (named for a local river) runs the Githembe factory as well as Kiganjo and Ndundu. Kiganjo is the site where coffee processed at Githembe is dried. This is done on raised beds for between 9 and 14 days, with the coffee being covered over during the hottest parts of the day as well as overnight.
With 2,400 members in the FCS around 1,500 are active. The members are all using certified seed stocks from Kenya’s CRI (Coffee Research Institute). Part of their operation involves providing their contributing smallhold farmer members with agronomical training and materials. Advice is dispensed such as how and when to clear weeks, prune the coffee trees, apply mulch and use fertilisers..
Handege, Kiambu County, Kenya
Crisp & refreshing with a snappy acidity. A refined sweetness like rosy-apple boiled sweets underpins ethereal aromas of elderflower, vanilla & peach.