Variety: SL28 - SL34
Process: Fully Washed
Murang’a lies just south of Nyeri and backs onto the temperate slopes of the Aberdare Mountain range on its western borders. Fertile red volcanic soil provides plenty of nutrients for growing trees while warm daytime and cooler nighttime temperatures create the best environment for beans to develop slowly and amass as much sugar as possible.
Gatagua Factory is run by Gatagua Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS). Over 650 members deliver cherry to the station.
Farmers delivering to Gatagua cultivate primarily SL28 and SL34 in small coffee gardens that are, on average, smaller than 1 hectares. ‘SL’ varieties are cultivars originally released by Scott Agricultural Laboratories (SAL) in the 1930s and 1940s. They soon became the go-to trees for many growers in Kenya due to their deep root structure, which allows them to maximize scarce water resources and flourish even without irrigation. They are cultivated with a serious eye to sustainability and Good Agricultural Practices, with minimal environmental impact where possible.
After intake, cherry is pulped and fermented for approximately 48 hours. Following fermentation, coffee is washed clean water and soaked for 12 hours. Then, parchment is laid to dry on raised beds. Workers rake parchment frequently to ensure even drying. They cover drying parchment during the hottest time of day, to maintain slow, even drying and at night, to shelter parchment from moisture. It takes approximately 14 to 21 days for parchment to dry.