This AB lot was produced by numerous smallholder farmers, all of whom are members of the Iyego Coffee Growers Cooperative Society (CGCS) delivering to Gitura Coffee Factory (as washing stations/wet mills are called in Kenya). The factory is located near the town of Kangema, in Kenya’s Muranga County.
Situated to the east of Aberdare ranges and South West of Mt. Kenya, Muranga County was home to the first administrative post set up by British missionaries in 1895. The area is inhabited and considered home to the Kikuyu people, Kenya’s largest ethnic group, accounting for nearly a 5th of the total population. Gitura, the name of the factory where this coffee was produced, is a Kikuyu word translating as locality. The land surrounding Muranga County is blessed with deep red volcanic soils, rich in organic matter and perfect for coffee farming.
Processing at the Gitura 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.
One of Kenya’s newest but most dangerous threats is that of climate change. Due to the nation’s geographical location in relevance to the equator, Kenya is lucky to receive two crops per year. Traditionally, the main harvest is carried out in October through to December, with the fly crop in June through to August producing minimal quantities. However, recent issues caused by changing climates have meant lower yields during the main harvest, and new quantity being produced in the fly crop. This provides strain to producers, whose yearly income and crop cycles are affected by this change.