REGION: Embu, Mt Kenya
ALTITUDE: 1680 masl
VARIETAL: Mixed Heirloom
TASTING NOTES: Blackberry, Grape, Honey, Jasmine, Lychee, Mango, Peach
Gichugu factory started to operate in the early 1970’s and is situated in the coffee zone around Mt Kenya region which has deep rich red volcanic soils ideal for coffee production. Gichugu receives cherries from the nearby villages of Kamviu, Gichugu and Manyatta.
Gichugu factory is affiliated to Gakundu Farmer’s Cooperative Society. It is located at Manyatta constituency of Embu County. At 145km from Nairobi capital city, you will find the factory sandwiched between the elegant Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare ranges, putting it at a vantage point of better production.
SOILS AND CLIMATE
Gichugu Coffee Factory lies at an altitude of 1680 meters above sea level on the expansive slopes of Mt. Kenya region. The factory has 8 soak pits which are enough for draining waste water, and there is no river nearby which can be polluted. Nappier grass is planted nearby along with trees to help in purifying the waste water.
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 pulper with three sets of discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean. After pulping, 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.