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Ruiru 11, Batian, SL-28, SL-34
Approx. 700 smallholder farmers delivering to Ndaro-ini Factory
Ndaro-ini is one of three ‘factories’ – the Kenyan word for wet mill – owned by the Gikanda Farmer’s Cooperative Society. Gikanda was founded in 1996 and currently represents over 700 active members, all located in the Mathira West district of Nyeri county. For Kenyan coffee nerds, the name Nyeri might ring a bell, as the region produces some of the world’s best and highest-value coffees year on year.
The staff at Ndaro-ini and the producers who deliver cherry here are all experts at what they do, despite the small average farm size of only one hectare or less. Through education and fertilization programs, the cooperative has helped farmers raise their yields, creating more profitable farms and driving more volume through the cooperative – a positive feedback loop which then helps to fund these same programs. In addition to on-farm programs, the cooperative also funds local education and health care centres, including paying school fees for local children.
The factory is located close to the Ragati river, a source of fresh water that is crucial to producing coffee using the aptly named ‘washed process’. During harvest, farmers deliver ripe red cherries to the factory’s collection point, where the cherries are then hand sorted for impurities and depulped before fermenting in open-air tanks overnight. The next morning the coffee is removed from the tanks and washed in serpentine channels which sort the beans for density, a key metric of quality. Finally, the coffee will undergo a soak in fresh water before being laid to dry on raised metal beds in the open air for up to 21 days.
The Ndaro-ini is our first Kenyan of the season and only one of two we’ll be releasing this year. As well as classic Kenyan flavours of black currant and brown sugar, this lot has incredibly expressive acidity reminiscent of cantaloupe and mandarin oranges. A truly elegant coffee from one of the undisputed leaders in quality worldwide.
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Bright coffees like this lot from the Ndaro-ini factory often need a bit of rest to ‘open up’ their flavours, and can taste best two to three weeks off of roast date, or even longer! With any coffees which display so much complexity, you might try using a slightly down-dosed recipe of 58g to 1 litre, adjusting for desired size. Let the coffee cool a couple minutes before enjoying as this will allow for better perception of sweetness and acidity.