Karimikui - Kenya
Region: Kirinyaga County
Varietal(s): SL28 & 34
Elevation: 1600m masl
Nestled in the foothills of Mount Kenya, the Karimikui Coffee Factory has been a cornerstone of coffee processing since its establishment. Situated on a 6-acre site, this factory, also known as a coffee mill in Kenya, is affiliated with the Farmers Cooperative Society of Rungeto. It caters to the villages of Githureia, Gituba, and Kiamugumo in Kirinyaga County, gathering and processing cherries from approximately 600 dedicated smallholder farmers in the region.
The coffee plants thrive in the fertile, crimson volcanic soil, benefitting from the altitudes ranging between 1600 and 1700 meters above sea level. The annual temperature, ranging from 13°C to 24°C, provides an ideal climate for coffee cultivation. The predominant varieties cultivated by the farmers are the esteemed SL28 and SL34.
Strict attention is paid to cherry selection, with the cherries being meticulously handpicked and sorted to ensure only the ripest ones are used in production. Initially, a disk depulper efficiently removes the skin and mucilage. The beans are then carefully classified based on density and undergo a controlled fermentation process lasting between 16 to 24 hours under shaded conditions. After completing the fermentation, the beans undergo thorough washing and are once again classified by density before being soaked in clean water for a period of 16 to 18 hours.
The next step in the process involves sun drying the beans on hessian beds for approximately 20 days. These specialised beds, made of cloth, facilitate proper air circulation beneath the beans, preventing undesirable fermentation. The beans are carefully covered during midday and overnight to shield them from external elements. Once the parchment is meticulously removed, the beans are sorted by size and then vacuum-packed to maintain their freshness.
The Karimikui Coffee Factory takes pride in its meticulous processing methods, ensuring that the exceptional quality of the beans is preserved from farm to cup.