Kenya - Slopes of 8
Kenya - Slopes of 8
Flavour notes: Currants, Citrus, Floral
The Slopes of 8
Producers: 8 farmers in Kirinyaga
Origin: Kirinyaga, Kenya
Culitvars: SL28, SL34
Process: Pulped, wet-fermented and sun-dried
The Slopes of 8 project groups eight farmers on neighboring hills on the slopes of Mount Kenya in Kirinyaga county. They were selected for this project, based on production criteria from Wycleff, Kenyacof’s agronomist. The cherries from these eight farmers were processed at the facilities on their own land instead of at a central wet mill, where normally all production from various farmers is processed together. Also at the dry mill, the lots were kept separate. Kenyacof bought the lot directly from them, bypassing the auction, so the return to the farmers would be larger. They don’t have to pay the milling and marketing fees to the cooperative, which means a huge saving on the direct return. This year, they directly received $400cts/50kg for their dried parchment.
We’re strongly promoting this collaboration in Kenya, because it gives more power and control to the producers. In this structure, more money flows back directly to them.
Stephen Munene, Charles Mwenje, Benson Mitano, Joseph Kabara, Anthony Njiraini, Harry Gachoki, Jane Muthike and the Gichangi brothers own the 8 indendent estates which are part of The slopes of 8. The idea of being part of a group of farmers is slightly different from participating in a big Cooperative Society – where the number of farmers combining their coffees is much smaller while the focus and control of quality is bigger.
The Slopes of 8 coffee is processed following the traditional Kenyan method of 24 hour fermentation, washing and final soaking. In the case of these eight farmers, the processing was just done on a much smaller scale, on equipment they have in their own yards. Depending on weather conditions, the parchment takes around 14 days to be properly dried on the raised tables they built themselves.