BLACKBERRY | RASPBERRY | RED CHERRY
Producer: Gititu Farmers Co-operative Society
Region: Kiambu County
Varieties: SL28 & SL34
Roasting Profile: Filter, Aeropress, French Press
The Gititu Farmers Co-operative Society was formed in 1971 and has become one of the largest Co-ops in the country with around 6200 members benefiting from access to the Specialty market. The success of the Society has contributed to improvements in local infrastructure, education, water, electricity, and employment prospects.
The coffee is grown by members of the Co-op on small farms before being harvested and taken to the central Gititu Factory (wet mill). Upon arrival, the coffee cherry is washed and pulped. Flotation tanks are used to separate the ripe, dense beans from the immature ‘mbuni’s (floaters). The dense beans will sink and be sent through channels to the fermentation tank. The beans then go through a 24-hour initial fermentation. After this period the beans are washed again, before a further fermentation cycle of 12 to 24 hours.
Once the fermentation process is completed, the beans enter the washing channels where floaters are separated further and the dense beans are cleaned of mucilage. The washed beans will then enter soaking tanks where they can sit under clean water for as long as another 24 hours. This soaking process allows amino acids and proteins in the cellular structure of each bean to develop which results in higher levels of acidity and complex fruit flavours in the cup - it is thought that this process of soaking contributes to the flavour profiles that Kenyan coffees are so famed for. Gititu Factory has built numerous seepage tanks to treat the water used in processing, to preserve the quality of the local streams.
The beans are then transferred to the initial drying tables where they are laid in a thin layer to allow around 50% of the moisture to be quickly removed. This first stage of drying can last around 6 hours before the beans are gathered and laid in thicker layers for the remaining 5-10 days of the drying period. The dry parchment coffee is then delivered to a private mill and put into ‘bodegas’ to rest – these are raised cells made of chicken wire which allows the coffee to breathe fully.
This coffee is a classic example of Kenyan quality – bright, clean acidity with complex fruit and berry notes and a deeply satisfying finish.