It's no secret that Kenyan coffee is some of the best coffee you can find. Its unique taste with intense, complex and flavour dense cup profiles are sought after by roasters worldwide.
We have always sourced coffee from what could be considered premium Co-op Societies and the Gathaithi Factory is no exception.
The Factory (wetmill) is located in Nyeri, Central Kenya. Nyeri is made up of mainly smallholder farms, each with some 100 trees. They are organized in Cooperative Societies that acts as umbrella organisations for the Factories (wetmills), where the smallholders deliver their coffee cherries for processing.
The soil in this area is mainly Nitisol. Nitisols occur in highlands and on volcanic steep slopes. They are developed from volcanic rocks and have better chemical and physical properties than other tropical soils.
Due to the traditional auction system in Kenya, quality is rewarded with higher prices. The better factories will then attract more farmers by producing coffee getting the highest prices, as well as giving high payback rate to the farmers. This can in some cases be about 90% of the sales price after cost of marketing and preparation is deducted.
The smallholders mainly have SL 28 and SL 34. Small amounts of other mixed varietals can occur.
During the production process cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. A 4-disc Agaarde disc pulping machine removes the skin and pulp. The coffee is fermented for 16-24 hours under closed shade. After fermentation the coffees are washed and again graded by density in washing channels and are then soaked under clean water from the Gatomboya stream for 16-18 hours.
The coffee is sun dried up to 21 days on African drying beds.
The good thing with the system in Kenya is that everything is more or less separated into small lots and different grades. If you buy coffees direct through the second window, the producers expect to get prices above the average auction prices at present time. In addition the system is transparent as everybody knows what’s going back to the society after cost of milling and marketing is deducted.