Notes: cranberry, maple, black tea
Origin: Embu, Kenya
Cooperative: Kibugu Farmers Cooperative Society
Importer: Red Fox Coffee Merchants
Processing: Washed, Disc Depulped, 72hr Triple Fermentation
Altitude: 1650 masl
Harvest Year: 2022
Varieties: SL 28, Ruiru 11, Batian
At the base of Mount Kenya, fertile volcanic soil and freshwater streams fill the landscape. While fertile terroir is ideal, most would agree cup quality comes from Kenya’s notable commitment to processing cherry. The entire regimen is sometimes referred to as the 72 hour process which involves a triple ferment process to remove any lingering fruit. Most farmers in Kenya are smallholders and typically produce enough cherry for just a few bags. These farmers are encouraged to become members of a cooperative which markets and sells coffee on the whole communities behalf. Washing stations are often referred to as ‘factories’ and play an enormous role in the quality of the final product.
After picking, ripe cherry is brought to the factory by local smallholder farmers before it undergoes processing to remove the skin and pulp – known as the wet processing method. The nearest water source is the Kangunu stream and the factory is dependent on electrical pumps to move water to reservoir tanks before using it for processing. The Gicherori station utilizes a disc pulper with three sets of discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee seed.
After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before it is cleaned, soaked and spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and volumes under processing, and can take from 7 to 15 days in total.