from 8.50

Producer: Gakuyu Society Cooperative members

Washing stations: Ndima-Ini factory
Region: Nyeri,  Central Kenya
Altitude: 1800 masl

Varietal: SL28, SL34
Process: Fully washed & sundried on raised beds

Cup profile: Juicy, rhubarb, blackcurrant, honey

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Coffee was introduced to Kenya by French Missionaries, with seeds from Reunion Island in the 19th century. Despite its proximity to Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee – documents suggest that its introduction to Kenya wasn’t until around 1893, with the first crop of coffee yielding in 1896. The development of hybrids during the 1930s brought about the highly successful SL28 and SL34 varietals – coffees that are now world famous and highly admired for their wonderful complexity in the cup.

The introduction of the Swynnerton Plan in the 1950s successfully implemented family smallholdings and the cultivation of both cash and subsistence crops side by side. This dramatically increased smallholder incomes in the following decade, with coffee accounting for around 55% of this increase. Today, around 70% of Kenya’s coffee is produced by smallholder farmers. Typically, a Kenyan smallholding or ‘shamba’ is comprised of shade-grown coffee, a house, the family cow and a variety of vegetables and fruit to sustain the family.

Ndima-ini Factory is part of Gakuyu Cooperative Society, which was formed in 1996 after it split from the big Mathera Cooperative Society. The cooperative only has two factories - Ndima-ini and Kirigu - and together they gather about 1,800 active members. Kirigu is named after the small Kirigu river, that supplies both factories with fresh water for processing. Approximately 850 smallholder farmers deliver ripe cherries to Ndima-Ini. Factory manager John Kamau, who has been in charge for over 20 years.

As as traditional in Kenya, after being pulped the coffee in parchment is left to ferment in tanks before being soaked in fresh water and then dried on raised beds before being transported to a dry mill and finally, hulled and exported.