This single origin coffee from Kenya is a blend of SL28 and SL34 varieties grown by the Thirikwa Farmers Cooperative Society in Gichugu. We taste a fruity profile in the cup with notes of raspberries, passion fruit and black currants.
About the Coffee
This coffee was produced by smallholder farmers, the Thirikwa Farmers Cooperative Society, and brought to the Gakuyuini wet mill (known locally as the “factory”) near the towns of Kerugoya and Kianyaga in central Kenya.
Gakuyuini (var. Gakuyu-ini) is the cooperative’s only wet mill and is located at an altitude of 1,600 meters above sea level. The smallholder farmers who supply the mill come from the surrounding villages of Githiru, Gituba, and Mukure. Their small farms (most of which are mixed farming, with a mix of coffee trees – about 200-250 trees on average – and food crops) are located on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya at 1,500 to 1,900 meters above sea level.
About the Farm
The cooperative has a total of 1835 members, of which 1,553 are active farmers. It is managed by 5 members. During harvest, farmers selectively hand-pick the ripest, reddest cherries, which are then delivered to the cooperative’s wet mill the same day. The cherries are sorted by hand before pulping, where damaged and unripe cherries are separated and processed separately according to quality. After pulping, the green beans are fermented for between 12 – 16 hours and then washed in clean, fresh river water to remove any remaining traces of mucilage before being passed through sorting channels for drying on raised beds. When it reaches optimum moisture, it is transported for sieve sorting before being taken to the warehouse for storage and distribution.
Sieve Sorting in Kenya
The AA, AB, and other grades used to classify lots in Kenya are only indicative of sieve size. They are not indicative of cup quality. The AA grade in Kenya is equivalent to the 17 or 18 (17/64 or 18/64 inch) sieve size used in other source countries. AA grades often fetch higher prices at auction, although this grade is not an indication of cup quality and an AB lot from a better farm may have a better cup.