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Please Note This coffee landed more than 8 months ago.
Out of stock
Smallholder farmers organized around the Ichamara factory
1600 - 1800 masl
SL28 & SL34, Ruiru 11
Nyeri County, Kenya
Fully washed and dried on raised beds
This is a coffee from the Ichamara factory, a processing site in Nyeri that is part of the New Gikaru Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS), a well-known producer group serving 3500 farmers in the heart of Kenya's famous Nyeri county.
Central Kenya & Nyeri County
Mt. Kenya, at the helm of Kenya’s Central Province, is the second tallest peak on the continent of Africa and a commanding natural presence. The mountain itself is a single point inside a vast and surreal thicket of ascending national forest and active game protection communities. The central counties of Kenya extend from the center of the national park, like five irregular pie slices, with their points meeting at the peak of the mountain. It is along the lower edge of the forests where, in wet, high elevation communities with mineral-rich soil (Mt. Kenya is a stratovolcano) many believe the best coffees in Kenya, often the world, are crafted. Nyeri is perhaps the most well-known of these central counties.
New Gikaru FCS and Processing Style
Kenya’s coffee is dominated by a cooperative system of production, whose members vote on representation, marketing and milling contracts for their coffee, as well as profit allocation. New Gikaru Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) is an umbrella organization that represents 5 total factories (centralized wet mills). The cooperative society is headquartered outside the town of Mukurwe-ini, close to the border with Kirinyaga and Muranga counties.
Kenya is of course known for some of the most meticulous at-scale processing that can be found anywhere in the world. Bright white parchment, nearly perfectly sorted by density and bulk conditioned at high elevations is the norm, and a matter of pride, even for generations of Kenyan processing managers who prefer drinking Kenya’s tea (abundantly farmed in nearby Muranga county) to its coffee. Ample water supply in the central growing regions has historically allowed factories to wash, and wash, and soak, and wash their coffees again entirely with fresh, cold river water.
At the factory, Ichamara collects cherry from members daily throughout the harvest months. The cherry is sorted on arrival for ripeness and consistency and then blended together for processing: coffee is depulped and fermented overnight, washed in fresh water, and then run through shallow cement channels to allow the wet parchment to naturally separate by density. Four final density grades are created from this last step, and each is moved to individual places on the factory's raised screen tables to dry, a process that takes 1-2 weeks depending on local climate and ambient temperatures.
After drying is complete the coffee is conditioned in large perforated bins on site to allow moisture to stabilize, preparing the coffees for transit and a long shelf life. The established milling and sorting by grade, or bean size, is a longstanding tradition and positions Kenya coffees well for roasters, by tightly controlling the physical preparation and creating a diversity of profiles from a single processing batch.