Kenya, Gichathaini AA

$9
Variety SL28/SL34/Batian/Ruiru11 
Process Washed
Altitude 16 - 1900 masl
Harvest Nov - Jan
Flavours Green Apple l Panela l Green Grape
 

I cup coffee from the Gichathaini Washing Station every year alongside a couple other coffees that I regularly source from Kenya. The coffee from Gichathaini always stands out but this year it is top of the crop! It's super sweet with a bright acidity making it extremely juicy. Just like a classic Kenyan coffee should be in my opinion. I see vibrant greens while enjoying a cup of this gem.

From Cafe Imports:

The Gichathaini factory is one of three washing stations that comprise the Gikanda Farmers Cooperative Society (F.C.S.), which is in the Mathira West district of Nyeri. The factory itself is owned by the farmers who deliver their cherries here: There are about 1,045 registered members and 770 active members who utilize the mill and, subsequently, are able to make elective decisions regarding factory representation and management. The factory is located about 6 kilometers from Karatina town, and the conditions in the area are typically ideal for coffee: abundant rainfall, reliable average temperatures, fertile soil, and fresh water from the Ragati river.

Coffee is picked and delivered ripe to the factory, where it is sorted before being depulped the same day as delivery. It is fermented overnight, washed using clean Ragati river water, and then moved to the drying beds. The water used in the washing process is recirculated for conservation purposes, and moved to soak pits away from the fresh-water sources to prevent contamination.

Microlots from Kenya are traceable to either the factory level or individual farm level (when possible), and are selected basis cup score. Because the majority of coffee farmers in Kenya own between 1/8–1/4 a hectare of land, most deliver coffee in cherry form to a local factory for sorting and processing; at the factory, the deliveries are blended and processed into day lots comprising the day' s deliveries. Our green buyer for Kenya typically takes up residency in Kenya during the harvest due to the sheer number of samples to be cupped and selects the best of these lots to purchase as microlots (fewer than 100 bags)

Most of Kenya's coffee is produced by smallholders delivering to factories (central processing units) who predominantly produce Washed coffees. Estates are also best-known for their Washed lots. The Washed process in Kenya may vary slightly from place to place, but it generally contains a soaking step that is unique to this growing country. First the coffee is picked ripe and depulped the same day, then it is normally fermented in open-air tanks made of concrete or cement for 24–48 hours. It's then washed thoroughly using water channels before being soaked underwater for 12–72 hours. It is then spread on raised beds to dry.

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