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Ruiru 11, Batian, SL-28, SL-34
Farm / Producer
The Mutheka Farmer’s Cooperative is one of the Nyeri region’s largest coops, with over 5600 farmer members. Though many in number, the average member of Mutheka owns only 250 coffee trees, a fraction compared to smallholders in other countries. This low individual production explains why cooperatives and the services they provide are so crucial in Kenya, as the income from coffee for any one farmer is restricted by the size of their farm.
At the Kamuyu washing station, where this lot was processed, farmers from the surrounding area deliver their ripe cherries throughout the harvest season. The cooperative provides members an initial payment upon delivery, with a second payment to arrive after the coffee has been sold. This two-payment system is partly due to coffee’s constantly fluctuating market price, which makes forecasting the final sale price of a coffee very difficult. Organising into cooperatives such as Mutheka allows the risk of operating in a volatile market to be spread across many actors, instead of any one individual. This system protects farmers but also requires much bureaucracy, which can make operating in Kenya quite complex.
Kamuyu washing station processed this lot in Kenya’s classic washed style, with multiple rounds of hand sorting as well as a two-part fermentation in which the coffee is sorted for density in long serpentine channels. Though nearly 600 farmers deliver their harvest to Kamuyu, the station only produces approximately 320 bags a year – around 30kg of coffee from each farmer. All the more impressive, considering how much organisation is required for such a large group, is just how delicious these coffees are. Kenyan coffees consistently rank among the very top in both quality and price year on year. We are pleased to feature this lot from Kamuyu as only one of two lots for 2022 – another reason to get it fast, before it runs out!
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Kenyan coffees have prized acidity, best enjoyed (we think) on a pour over brewer such as a Hario V60. Try a brew ratio of 60g to 1 litre of filtered water, adjusting to taste. For best results, use fresh, filtered water and grind right before you brew.