Altitude: 1,450 to 1,760
Varietals: SL28 & SL34
Region: Nyeri County, Central Kenya
Cupping Score: 87
Kenya is a coffee origin that provides exceptional quality and flavour profiles through traditional processing techniques and attention to detail at the best mills and estates. Kenya has one of the most transparent and strict coffee buying systems in the world via the Nairobi auctions.
The Gathaithi cooperative is managed by a democratically elected board of members, each of whom serve as a representative of a community where the cooperative has members. Additionally, the Cooperative provides employment for permanent members of staff, headed by the Secretary Manager, who oversees the day-to-day running of the Coop under the board’s supervision. The cooperative, in this way, is run by the farmers themselves and represents and processes cherry for some 1,250 active smallholder farmers with a total estimated hectare of 156 and an annual production of over 102,000 kilos. In addition to the wide-spread SL28 and SL34, this lot contains a small amount of Ruiru 11. Ruiru 11 is named for the station at Ruiru, Kenya where it was developed in the '70s and released in 1986. Although composing only 5% of the current lot, Ruiru is slowly becoming more widespread in the region due to its resistance to Coffee Berry Disease and Coffee Leaf Rust. It has also backcrossed with SL28 and SL34 to ensure high cup quality.
Coffee farming in this region goes back to the 1950s, but many members of the Cooperative rely on additional economic and agricultural activities for their livelihoods. In addition to producing coffee, most farmers in the area also produce maize and banana for sale at local markets and for their own tables.