Kenya – Gicherori

Kenya – Gicherori

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Origin: Kenya - Gicherori

Region: Embu

Variety: Sl28, Ruiru 11 & Batian

Altitude: 1,650+ masl

Process: Washed

In the cup “ Blackcurrant, Apricot & Lemon”

Farm sizes in the region are very small - averaging only 200 trees (that’s about one tenth of a hectare) - and so families also grow food crops such as maize, bananas and beans for their own consumption, as well as other cash crops such as tea. The coffee trees are a mixture of SL28 and Ruiru 11, which grow in the shade of Gravellea and Macadamia trees.

Ruiru 11 is named for the station at Ruiru, Kenya where it was developed in the '70s and released in 1986. Batian (developed in 2011) is named after the highest peak on Mt. Kenya. These two varietals are slowly becoming more widespread in the region due to their resistance to Coffee Berry Disease and Coffee Leaf Rust and have both been backcrossed with SL28 and SL34 to ensure high cup quality.

The main harvest at Gicherori runs from October to January. Farmers selectively handpick the ripest, reddest cherries, which are then either delivered directly to the cooperative’s wet mill or received at one of 4 collection points and then ferried over on the same day. Cherries are stringently hand sorted prior to pulping, with damaged and under-ripe cherries being separated out from the red, ripe lots. The factory uses disc pulper with three sets of discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean. After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before being washed through washing channels (which separate for density), soaked and spread out on raised drying tables. The coffee is then dried for between 7 to 15 days, depending on climate, ambient temperature and volumes under processing. While drying, the parchment is repeatedly moved and sorted to remove any damaged or discoloured beans and is covered during the hottest part of the day to maintain even temperatures. The coffee is then stored and rested in Sisal bags when it reaches 11-13% humidity.

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