Gicherori factory lies 1550 metersabove sea level on the expansive slopes of Mt. Kenya region which has deep rich red volcanic soils ideal for coffee production. Temperature ranges from 12–25 degrees Celsius. The factory was started in 1997 to relieve Kathakwa and Ndunduriof the old Kibugu FCS. It is currently affiliated to Kibugu FCS. High bimodal rainfall of about 1500 mm per annum is characteristic, the main crop season is from October to December and from March to July the other crop season. The factory is receiving assistance from our partner Coffee Management Services (CMS).
Through the pre-financing they receive, farmers are given advances for school fees and farm inputs. The factory manager is re-trained every year by CMS, in addition to field days being held by the minister of agriculture and agrochemical companies that deliver inputs to the farmers. Demonstration plots are planted at the factory to reinforce the best practices taught throughout the year.
After picking, ripe cherry is brought to the factory before it undergoes processing to remove the skin and pulp—known as the wet processing method. Wastewater is discarded in soaking pits, and is also recirculated for conservation. The factory is using a disc depulper with three sets of discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean. After depulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before it is cleaned, soaked, and spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and volumes under processing, and can take from 7 to 15 days in total.
For more information on Kenyan coffee, visit our Kenya Origin Page.