Perched high up in the southern foothills of Mount Kenya on rich red volcanic soil, the areas surrounding the Karani factory are ideal for producing some of the finest Kenyan coffee. Individual farmers in these fertile foothills typically
harvest from around 250 coffee trees on half-acre plots and deliver cherry to the Karani factory, which is one of 11 factories managed by an umbrella farmers’ cooperative society (FCS) called the Kabare Farmers’ Cooperative Society. At the Karani factory only the ripest cherries are delivered, and additional hand sorting and floating is done to remove less dense and damaged beans before the coffee is depulped, fermented and washed. After the coffee is washed, it’s soaked in fresh water for long periods of time to solidify the hallmark Kenyan profiles. The coffee is dried over a period of two weeks on raised beds, which are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control for optimal drying. When the coffee is milled for export, the green beans are sorted by screen size and graded according to size and shape. Larger beans (17/18 screen) are labeled AA, 15/16 screen are labeled AB, and the round peaberry are labeled PB.