Our second Kenyan offering of 2022, we’re thrilled to welcome back an elegant AA lot from the Kaiguri factory in Kenya’s Nyeri region.
Around 520 farmers contribute their coffee cherries to the Kaiguri coffee washing station, known as a ‘factory’ in Kenya. Their farms are really smallholdings, situated at around 1,700 to 1,800 metres with deep, red volcanic soils, where each farmer might have between 200 and 250 coffee trees.
They are not just growing coffee, but also potatoes, maize, beans and arrowroot. Coffee typically grows under shade and amidst other crops, including Gravilea, African cherry trees, kangaroo grass, Meru oak and olive trees.
The Washing Station
The Kaiguri factory was established in 1969 and began operations under the Tetu Coffee Growers’ Cooperative Society. In 2004 it began operating under the Mutheka Farmers’ Cooperative Society.
Once delivered the coffee cherries are hand sorted before being processed. Water from the local Gura river is used to feed the cherries through a traditional disc pulper before the mucilage covered seeds are fermented in tanks overnight. The water can be recycled to pass cherries through the depulper, but fresh, clean water is used to wash the seeds after fermentation and pass them through grading channels.
The processing water that has become loaded with particulates is treated in four large soak pits so as not to contaminate the local water source. Once fully washed the coffee is dried on raised beds for up to 15 days, during which time it is further sorted to refine the quality.
The Farmer's Co-operative Society
Mutheka Farmers’ Cooperative Society was established in 2004, and oversees the running of 7 factories, which are Chorongi, Kamuyu, Kiandu, Kigwandi, Kihuyo, Muthua-Ini as well as Kaiguri, at which this lot was produced.
There are around 4,600 members working with Mutheka FCS. The motto of the FCS is “Urumwe, Utheri Na Utonga”, translating to “Unity, Transparency and Wealth”. Through working to produce quality coffee, supplemented by agronomical training, providing access to inputs, hosting seminars and offering materials on sustainable farming, their goal is to elevate and enrich the livelihoods of their members.
Image taken by, and used with the kind permission of, Jake Green.
Kaiguri, Nyeri, Kenya
A clean, vibrant cup bursting with notes of fresh pineapple & juicy blood orange. Flavours of white chocolate, blackcurrant leaf & vanilla add layers of complexity.