Kenya - Gathaithi
Kenya - Gathaithi
Flavour notes: Blackberries, currant, pink grapefruit
Farm: Gathaithi Factory
Cultivars: SL28 and SL34
Producers: 800 smallholder farmers
Origin: Nyeri, Kenya
Altitude: 1800 masl
Process: Pulped, dry fermented and sun dried
The Gathaithi Factory is found in the heart of Nyeri in central Kenya. It is a small cooperative with about 800 smallholder member farmers.It is made up of mainly small- holder farms, each with some 100 trees. They are organized in Cooperative Societies that acts as umbrella organizations for the Factories, where the smallholders deliver their coffee cherries for processing.
All coffees are picked by hand and brought to the washing station where they are pulped, dry fermented, washed and then sundried. Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. A disc pulper removes the skin and pulp. The coffees are graded by density in to 3 grades. Grade 1 and 2 go separately to fermentation, grade 3 is considered low grade and processed separately. The coffee is fermented for 16-24 hours under closed shade. After fermentation the coffee is washed and again graded by density in washing channels. The last step before drying is letting the coffee soak under clean water for 16-20 hours. The coffee is left to dry on raised beds between 14-16 days.
There is a lot of competition in Nyeri. Many of the farmers are surrounded by several wetmills. They are free to choose where they want to deliver their cherries as members. 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.