Kiamugumo Espresso AA Microlot
REGION: Gariama, Manyatta, Kirinyaga
Farm: About 1,150 smallholder farmer members of the New Ngariama Farmer Cooperative Society
VARIETY: SL-28, SL-34, Ruiru 11, Batian, K7
ALTITUDE: 1550 masl
TASTING NOTES: Tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, lychee with honey sweetness
New Ngariama Farmers Cooperative Society operates the Kiamugumo Factory, which was founded in the 1970s. There are about 1,500 contributing members who deliver cherry to the factory, each growing coffee alongside other crops on about 1/8th a hectare each, average.
The farmers bring their cherry to the factory for sorting and processing as soon as it is picked: The coffee is de-pulped, then fermented underwater for 12–24 hours before being washed four times and spread on raised beds for 9–13 days. The factory leadership offers producers inputs on credit as well as cash advances to assist with the season and incentivise coffee production and quality.
Coffee in Kenya is typically traceable down to the factory, or mill level: Most farmers own between 1/8 to 1/4 of a hectare, and often grow crops other than coffee as well, which means they rely on a central processing unit for sale and processing of their coffee. Producers deliver in cherry form to a factory, where the cooperative will sort, weigh, and issue payment for the delivery. The coffee is then blended with the rest of the day's deliveries and goes on to be processed. Because of this system, which serves many hundreds to several thoughts of smallholder farmers per factory, there is limited traceability down to the individual producers whose coffee comprises the lots.