Region: Karenge, Kiambu County
Owner: 1,200 smallholder farmers
Varietal(s): SL 34 and SL 28
Processing method: Fully Washed
Elevation: 1,800 to 1,950 masl
The Githongo Factory is located in the Central highlands of Kenya bordering Nakuru and Kajiado in the West, Murang’a and Nyandarua to the North and Nairobi to the South. The name for Kiambu County where this coffee originates comes from the Mbari ya Mbuu Kikuyu clan who once lived in the area.
Part of the Komothai Farers Cooperative Society, the Githongo Factory produces roughly 470 MT of cherries each year, and have been in operation since 1972.
The coffee is grown throughout the region on healthy deep red volcanic soils high in nutrients and organic matter. This soil is ideal for coffee production and gives the trees the necessary resources to allocate energy to high-quality coffee production. Harvest generally occurs amongst the cooperative members between October and December. In some cases, early crop can be harvested between April and July.
The coffee trees are carefully monitored and picking ensues only when the cherry is at the ideal level of ripeness. Picking occurs in the morning and buckets of bright red coffee cherries are carried to the mill. As the sun traverses across the sky into the afternoon, the cherries are piled high as underripe cherries and foreign objects are removed from the gleaming pile. The cherries are then poured into a hopper located just above the pulping station and from here the wet process begins.