The Kamviu coffee factory is located in Embu county in the central part of Kenya. The nearly1000 farmers delivering to the factory are members of the Gakundu Farmers Cooperative Society. The county borders to Mount Kenya, one of the most well respected coffee growing regions in the world. The main harvest for Kamviu is from October through February. Varieties grown are typical for Kenya; SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11 and Batian. After picking, ripe cherry is brought to the factory by smallholder farmers before it undergoes processing to remove the skin and pulp –known as the wet processing method. The river Muriuriu is the primary water source for coffee processing at the factory. The factory is using a disc pulper with four separate discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean. Afterpulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, traveling through channels to the soaking tank the coffee is carefully cleaned, soaked and spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and total production volume undergoing processing. Drying can take from 7 to 15 days in total. Frequent turning and sorting will happen during the drying stage.Wastewater is managed through the use of soaking pits. The water used for processing the cherry will spend time in the pits to insure that the nutrient rich water created during depulping will not be returned to the nearby water source without proper treatment. This additional step will cut down the risk of contamination, after adequate time for reabsorption the water will be recirculated. Currently Kamviu Factory is employing two soaking pits for this process.Kamviu factory small-scale farmers who grow coffee and tea as the main cash crop, they also grow maize, beans, sweetpotatoes, Irish potatoes, bananas, arrowroots and cassava the food crop. Some horticultural crops are also grown and have ready markets within Manyatta and Embu town whose demands are higher than the supply from the project area. For many years coffee has been a constant revenue earner for most rural families in this area contributing to better levels of living standard and assisting in education of their children in the higher schools of learning.
For more information on Kenyan coffee, visit our Kenya Origin Page.