The Gichathaini wet mill is one of three washing stations that make up the Gikanda FarmersCooperative Society in the Mathira West District of Kenya's Nyeri region. This factory itself is actually owned by the coffee farmers that deliver cherries to be processed. 1045 members make up the cooperative society, of which 770 actively sell their coffee through the mill and in turn, make elective decisions in terms of representatives and management positions at the factory. The factory is located about 6 km from the town of Karatina. The conditions in this specific area are ideal; abundant rainfall, average temperatures of 15°C to 26°C, fertile soil, and clean water from the Ragati river.
Once coffee is picked ripe, it is delivered to the factory on the same day and depulped. It is then set to wet ferment overnight to break down the sugars. In the morning, the coffee is washed using Ragati river water and then moved to raised drying beds. The water used during the fermentation and washing processes is re-circulated for conservation purposes and moved to soak pits away from water sources so that it can naturally filter into the earth and not pollute the area. When the coffee is on the raised beds it is hand turned and sorted.
For more information on Kenyan coffee, visit our Kenya origin page.