Price $4.25 per pound
Bag Weight 132.71 lbs
Flavor Profile Limeade, chocolate, redwood aromatics
Please Note This coffee landed more than 8 months ago.
840 small farms organized around the Githiru Farmers Cooperative Society LTD
1750 - 1800 masl
SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11 and Batian
Mukaro area, Nyeri county, Kenya
Fully washed and dried on raised beds
Nyeri is perhaps the most well-known of Kenya’s central counties. Kenya’s coffee is dominated by a smallholder-based cooperative system of production, where members vote on representation, marketing and milling contracts for their coffee, as well as profit allocation. In this system washing stations, or “factories” are most often grouped together under an umbrella organization known as a Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS), which might manage 3 or 4 factories, up to 15 or more in Kenya’s largest. Githiru FCS, however, is a single-factory cooperative society, with only Githiru factory in its management. Githiru is not a new factory, but its independence began in 2000 after emancipating from Tetu FCS, a very large coop society in the region.
Githiru FCS has 840 farmer members who also tend to grow corn, beans, potatoes, and other vegetables on their diversified plots, and milk cows are also common. During harvest at the factory 15 people are employed to assist with operations and processing. The business organization is managed by a 5-person team including, as is typical in Kenya coop societies, a chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer, and an elected farmer member.
Githiru FCS is a member society of the Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters (KCCE) organization. KCCE is an historic organization of almost 4,000 individual cooperatives. The group was formed in 2009, with the express goal of managing marketing and exporting operations internally and cooperatively, as opposed to contractually with third parties. The economics of smallholder systems are consistently difficult everywhere in the world, and in Kenya in particular the number of individual margins sliced off an export price before payment reaches the actual farms is many, leaving only a small percentage to support coffee growth itself. And most often this arrives many months after harvest. KCCE, by managing more of the value chain itself, can capture a greater margin on behalf of the farms.
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.
Githiru typically sorts cherry upon delivery for quality and consistency. Cherry is then depulped and fermented dry in a tank for 24 hours. After fermentation is complete, the decomposed mucilage is scrubbed away and the clean parchment soaks in a fresh water bath for another 24 hours. The parchment is then sent to the drying tables, where it will stay for 2-3 weeks depending on the climate. After drying is complete the coffee is stored on site and eventually delivered to a local dry mill for grading and a final density sort. 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.