|1,700 – 1,800 masl.
|SL28 & SL34
Kirinyaga is part of the name of Mount Kenya Kirinyaga, from which this country takes its name.
‘Kenya Kirinyaga’ means ‘white crests’ and refers to the peaks of Mount Kenya Kirinyaga, which are always white due to their altitude.
Mount Kenya Kirinyaga is an extinct volcano whose slopes are very fertile and rich in nutrients.
This coffee has been grown at an altitude of between 1,700 and 1,800 meters above sea level.
The washing plant is located on the slopes of this volcano and on the edge of a forest, about 100 kilometers from the capital, Nairobi.
The coffee cooperative system in Kenya
Coffee has established itself as a very strong crop and serves as a source of cash for many farmers, who also tend to have other small crops.
The quality that their coffees show year after year is the best guarantee of a job well done.
Karani Kirinyaga is one of these coffee mills which is managed by the Kabare Cooperative and serves more than six hundred small coffee producers in the vicinity.
The cooperative also manages another 9 mills.
Grouping into cooperatives and sharing washing plants offers small coffee growers greater traceability of their coffees.
This allows them to receive more income than if they took it to an industrial plant where it would become anonymous.
Processing at the factory
When the cherries are received, they are selected to separate the highest quality and most ripe ones from the rest. This process is supervised by a skilled employee.
Once the cherries have been separated, they are passed through a pulper and then separated once more by density.
Once the cherries are pulped, they are left to ferment between 16 and 24 hours. The fermentation process is supervised to ensure that the fermentation stops at the right time.
After this, the cherries are washed and placed on raised beds for drying. Employees monitor the process by stirring the coffee often to ensure uniform drying.
They also monitor for defective cherries. The drying process lasts between one and three weeks depending on the atmospheric conditions.
The harvests usually occur two times, one between May and July and another between October and December.
Screening and bean size classification system in Kenya
This denomination is not an indication of quality, as many people think, but of the size of the coffee bean.
AA refers to a seed slightly larger than an AB, but not necessarily of a better quality.
Sustainability throughout the production chain
Ensuring that they can maintain their crops and contributing to bettering their lifestyle is the responsibility of all of us who consume and enjoy coffee.
In a globalized world, the decision of what and how we spend our money can have consequences in places far from us.