Origin: Central Kenya
Cooperative: Gititu FCS
Wet-mill: Kimathi Factory
Altitude: 1800 – 1950 masl
Process: Fully washed, with double fermentation and sundried in african beds
Notes: Plum, melon, honey, blackcurrant
This AB lot was produced by numerous smallholder farmers, all of whom are members of the Gititu Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) delivering to Kimathi Coffee Factory (as washing stations/wet mills are called in Kenya). The factory is located near the town of Kiambu, in Kenya’s Kiambu County.
Gititu FCS is one of the oldest in Kiambu, being founded in the 1970s. Today, the FCS operates 9 washing stations within Kiambu. The total active membership is around 5,000 small holder farmers, but only a portion (around 570) of these deliver to the Kimathi Factory.
Processing at the Kimathi wet mill adheres to stringent quality-driven methods. All coffee cherries are handpicked and are delivered to the mill the same day, where they undergo meticulous sorting.
After pulping the cherries are delivered to one of the factory’s fermentation tanks, where it will ferment for between 12 to 48 hours depending on the ambient temperature at the time. After this, the coffee is fully washed to remove all traces of mucilage, during which time it will be graded. The coffee will then either be delivered to dry on the factory’s raised drying beds or will be soaked under circulating water for up to 24 hours, depending on if there is room on the factory’s beds (during the peak of the season, there is often a backlog). The coffee will dry here slowly over the course of 2 to 3 weeks, during which time it will be turned regularly and covered during the hottest part of the day.
The AA, AB and other grades used to classify lots in Kenya are an indication of screen size only. They are not any indication of cup quality. The AA grade in Kenya is equivalent to screen size 17 or 18 (17/64 or 18/64 of an inch) used at other origins. AA grades often command higher prices at auction though this grade is no indication of cup quality and an AB lot from a better farm may cup better.