Kenya Othaya Nyeri Chinga Washed

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Blueberries, apricot, chocolate and chamomile.

Farm: Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society

Region: Chinga, Nyeri County

Washing station: Chinga Wet Mill (Othaya Coffee Mill)

Altitude: 1795 m

Varietal: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian

Processing: Washed

Farming method: Inorganic

Average annual rainfall: 1,326 mm

Average daily temperature: 13-26°C

Harvest season: January - May

Certification: Fairtrade

SCA score: 87+

This station was constructed in 1960 and is located on the bank of River Gikira whose source is The Aberdare Ranges. The main harvesting season is one which runs from October to December.

The process follows the classic fully washed approach with dry fermentation, typical of the Kenyan coffees. The dry fermentation entails the use of cherry juice only to ferment the beans before washing them one or more times. In particular, at Ichamama cherries are harvested strictly by hand, and then further manually sorted to remove those over and those underripe. The cherries are then processed with a disk depulper, which removes most of the pulp from the beans and discards any defective ones.

The beans, covered by little residual pulp, are sent to the fermentation tanks where they stay for 16-24 hours without exposure to direct light, to allow bacteria and yeasts to consume any remaining mucilage.

The beans are then washed and classified by density, to remove any residual immature.

They are then soaked for other 16-18 hours and finally placed on raised beds to lower the residual moisture to a 10-11% targeted value. This may take up to three weeks, during which the beans are turned around regularly to avoid unwanted fermentations and covered during the hottest hours of the day and at night.

They are eventually processed by the dry mill, where the parchment is removed, and the grains are vacuum packed before being exported.