Mutheka Farmers Cooperative Society is a relatively new entity formed in 2004. It comprises more than 6000 active farmer members, approximately 1400 of which use the Muthua-Ini factory.
Cherries collected from the farmers in the region are bulked together and washed, fermented, and laid out on raised beds to dry. The Cooperative puts a lot of focus on quality and is known for meticulously sorting through the whole process.
All cherries are handpicked and conveyed to the plant that day, where they go through careful sorting. Processing station workers supervise the collecting, and any underripe or harmed cherries won’t be accepted by the ‘Cherry Clerk’ – one of the main harvest period staff. This person keeps careful records of how much coffee every picker brings daily. And consequently, how much installment is expected once the beans have been sold to the exporter.
After depulping, coffee in parchment ferments overnight. The other day is washed and sorted to certain qualities – P1 to P3, P lights and pods. These qualities are then sun-dried separately for 8-14 days.
In Kenya, a specific system of grading is used. This system assumes that the bigger(screen size) the bean, the higher quality and thus price should be. The highest quality beans are marked AA.
During the years, we observed that lots marked AB or peaberries could taste as good as AAs.
This lot is AB size.
In the 1930s, the Kenyan government hired Scott Laboratories (SL) to develop varieties that are stronger and more drought-resistant. With the SL 28, they did not succeed in developing a coffee tree with the highest yields, but with excellent taste properties – fruity and citrus taste, a complex and sweet cup of coffee typical of Kenyan coffee.
On the other hand, the SL 34, they came with a variety with high yields and good adaptation to higher altitudes. The variety does not require too much fertilization, but is more prone to diseases such as coffee rust, coffee cherry disease and more.