The Gichathaini wet mill is one of the three washing stations that form the Gikanda Farmers Cooperative Society in the Mathira West District of Kenya's Nyeri region. This particular factory is actually owned by the coffee farmers that deliver cherries to be processed. 1045 members make up the cooperative society, of which 770 actively sell their coffee through the mill and in turn, make elective decisions in terms of representatives and management positions at the factory. Gichathaini is located about 6 km from the town of Karatina, and growing conditions here are ideal to say the least; abundant rainfall, average temperatures of 59-79 degrees Fahrenheit, fertile soil, and clean water from the Ragati river.
Once coffee is picked at optimal ripeness, it is delivered to the factory on the same day and depulped. It is then sent to wet ferment overnight to break down the sugars. In the morning, the coffee is washed using Ragati river water and then moved to raised drying beds, where it is hand turned and sorted. The water used during the fermentation and washing processes is re-circulated for conservation purposes and moved to soak pits away from water sources so that it can naturally filter into the earth, preventing any pollution of the area.
We are very pleased with the Gichathaini, as it boasts classic Kenyan coffee characteristics, but with an especially rich and creamy body. An immediate berry-like juiciness is present in the cup, accented by a tart citrus note and finishing with a bit of floral nuance. This would be an excellent option as a single origin espresso, but is perhaps best suited as filter coffee.
Altitude: 1600-1900 masl
Varietals: SL 28, SL 34, Ruiru 11, Batian