Gachatha factory is operated by the Gachatha Farmers Cooperative Society and sits on 391 acres between the villages of Muthuaini, Thiriku, Gachenge, and Kianjau. It was built in 1963, and its current membership is about 1,050, with roughly 900 active members. The factory has nine permanent staff, and hires around 25 seasonal workers to oversee receipt and processing during the harvest season. Permanent staff is in charge of key roles such as receiving and weighing cherry, registering complaints and concerns, and managing farmer payments. The average farmer has about 300 coffee trees, on less than one hectare of land. Farmers here typically grow other crops as well as coffee, as well. The area surrounding Gachatha is densely populated, which requires the factory to take particular precautions with regards to waste water and pollutants. The factory has soak pits for water treatment to avoid contamination with fresh-water sources, and the community takes care to preserve the indigenous plant life in the area, to protect local bird and animal species.
Most of Kenya’s coffee is produced by smallholders delivering to factories (central processing units) who predominantly produce Washed coffees. Estates are also best-known for their Washed lots. The Washed process in Kenya may vary slightly from place to place, but it generally contains a soaking step that is unique to this growing country. First the coffee is picked ripe and depulped the same day, then it is normally fermented in open-air tanks made of concrete or cement for 24–48 hours. It’s then washed thoroughly using water channels before being soaked underwater for 12–72 hours. It is then spread on raised beds to dry. Although this specific lot is not traceable down to a single variety, it represents a blend of Batian, SL28, SL34, and Ruiru 11
THE EXPERIENCE IN A CUP
Juicy sweetness and acidity with a syrupy mouthfeel; rich caramel, brown sugar, pomegranate and bright green grape flavors, with a super flavor of mature peach, this is the flavor that made us fall in love with this coffee when we tasted it in a cupping session.