This is a washed, AB Top Kenyan coffee Kiaga washing station in the Nyeri highlands.
Kiaga wetmill is part of Othaya Farmers’ Co-operative Society Limited, one of a few washing stations or “factories” that form the co-op group based in the heartland of Kukuyu territory, Nyeri. The mill processes an average of 270,000kg of coffee cherries per year sourced from over 700 farmers. The total farmed area is 104.3 acres with individual trees yielding between 5 & 10kg of cherries per season, though drought during the 2016/17 crop led to much lower yields in many of the coffee producing regions of Kenya.
The coffee is wet processed, whereby the fully ripe cherries are:
• Fermented for 12 - 48 hours (depending on climatic conditions)
• Washed and graded in clean water channels
• Dried slowly over 2 - 3 weeks on raised African beds until the moisture content is reduced to 10-12%.
The coffee is then delivered to Othaya dry mill where it is rested in parchment for 3 weeks before being hulled, cleaned and graded by bean size. Finally, the coffee is carefully handpicked before being bagged in GrainPro for export.
Kiaga Factory is located between the rivers of Rutene and Ruarai on the road leading to Chinga Tea Factory, East of the Aberdare Ranges. Nyeri County has cool temperatures and fertile central highlands, lying between the Eastern base of the Aberdare (Nyandarua) Range, which forms part of the Eastern end of the Great Rift Valley, and the Western slopes of Mt. Kenya. Nyeri town (county headquarters) acts as a destination for those visiting Aberdare National Park and Mt. Kenya.
The combination of fertile soil, seasonal rainfall and high altitude provide the ideal climate for coffees characterised by high acidity, full body and ripe fruit flavours. Most coffees from Nyeri develop and mature slowly producing extra hard beans. This quality is also evident in the cup.