PPP Coffee Kenya Gichathaini
Country/Region: Kenya/Nyeri County
Varietal: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian
Elevation: 1600 - 1900 m.a.s.l.
We Taste: Blackcurrant, Blood Orange, Yellow Plum
One of the most well-known coffee-producing regions in Kenya, the Nyeri County sits between the Mt Kenya and Aberdare ranges, just east of the Great Rift Valley. With rich, red volcanic soils, abundant rainfall, Nyeri makes for an ideal location for coffee production.
The Gichathaini wet mill in Nyeri County is one of three mills working with smallholder producers from the Gikanda Farmers' Cooperative Society. Over 770 producers contribute to the factory, typically with plots of 1 hectare or less.
During harvest season, ripe cherries are handpicked and bagged for transportation to the wet mill on the same day. The cherries are de-pulped to remove the exterior fruit. The parchment is then fermented in tanks filled with water from the local Ragati River, breaking down the mucilage layer.
The water is channelled from the river via gravity-fed channels, ensure careful use of the water and avoiding over-exploitation of the river. When processing is complete, the water is transferred to soak pits, which allow the water to drain off naturally, avoiding contamination of potable water.
The coffee is then rinsed and spread evenly on raised beds to sun-dry. Once the optimal moisture levels are achieved, the coffee is hulled by the Highlands Coffee Auction, and then bagged to prepare for export. The exporters, Dorman Kenya Limited, work to offer education and training to the producers.