The Kiandu Coffee Factory is part of the Mutheka Coffee Farmer’s Society, consisting of almost 6,000 active members. There is a common average of about 160 coffee trees per farmer, and most farms grow other crops such as maize, beans, and sweet potatoes.
Mutheka FCS is a relatively new entity formed in 2004 after the split of the Giant Tetu Coffee Growers Co-Operative Society. The FCS is situated in Nyeri County in the east of Aberdare ranges and West of Mt. Kenya and operates 7 factories: Chorong’i, Kaiguri, Kamuyu, Kigwandi, Kihuyo and Muthua-ini (along with Kiandu, of course) with total membership of around 6,000 small scale coffee growers.
After picking, ripe cherry is brought to the factory by smallholder farmers, before it undergoes processing to remove the skin and pulp – known as the wet processing method. The factory is using a Mc Kinnon three disc pulper to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean, before coffee undergoes a dry fermentation to break down the mucilage sticking to the parchment, staying in the fermentation tanks for 18 to 24 hours. Then, coffee travels through washing channels to insure all fruit is removed and goes through one final overnight soak before being spread out on raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and total production volumes undergoing processing, and can take from 7 to 15 days in total.
About this coffee
Cupping score: 87.75
Processing station: Kiandu
Producer: Smallholder farmers
Altitude: 1766 MASL
Variety: SL28 and SL34
SL28 was identified on a single tree in Tanzania and soon became ubiquitous thanks to its drought-resistance, high yield, and desirable cup profile. Since then, it has spread to other coffee-growing origins, including Uganda and Central America.
SL34 is also part of the Bourbon-Typica family and has adapted to grow in high altitude areas with a good amount of rainfall.
Kenyan coffees are first de-pulped to remove the fruit from around the bean, then are fermented and washed—sometimes in more than one cycle of both—and soaked in water. The beans are then dried and rested on specially built raised beds.