Ngerwe factory is located at 1600 masl on Mount Kenya area. The factory is managed by John Githinji Ngorotha and owned by Kibugu Farmer Cooperative Society. Apart from coffee other crops grown in this region include passion fruits, maize, beans and tea. The factory has 10 soak pits which are enough for draining waste water. Through the pre-financing they receive, the 560 farmers are given advances for school fees and farm inputs. Demonstration plots are planted at the factory to reinforce the best practices taught throughout the year.
Coffee in Kenya comes from Mount Kenya area, mainly. Logical because Mount Kenya has a very fertile and volcanic soil and a high altitude (peak 5000m). Our partner on the spot, Kibugu Farmers Co-op owns several factories including Ngerwe factory in Embu region. More than 560 farmers are producing coffee in this zone, on small plots of just 1 hectare. They sell their whole cherries to the co-op to allow Kibugu processing coffees homogeneously.
Coffee production in Kenya dates back to the late 1880’s, when is thought to have been brought by the French Missionaries to the Taita Hills area. (Hence the name of the "french mission" variety). Introduced later into the Mount Kenya area, it found a great combination of altitude, volcanic soils and temperature. Still today, the biggest coffee growing area spreads from Kiambu until Mount Kenya area. This is where you can find Embu region and more specifically the Ngerwe factory. More than 560 farmers cultivate coffee trees on small plots of 1 hectare and sell whole cherries to the factory. The supply of whole cherries allows to Ngerwe factory to control the process homogeneously. After picking, ripe cherry is brought to the factory before it undergoes processing to remove the skin and pulp – known as the wet processing method. Wastewater is discarded in soaking pits, and is also recirculated for conservation. The factory is using a disc pulper with three sets of discs to remove the skin and fruit from the inner parchment layer that is protecting the green coffee bean. After pulping, the coffee is fermented overnight to break down the sugars, before it is cleaned, soaked and spread out on the raised drying tables. Time on the drying tables depends on climate, ambient temperature and volumes under processing, and can take from 7 to 15 days in total.
- Flavour: Honey, peach, apricot and blackberry
- Origin: Embu, Mount Kenya, Kenya
- Varietal: SL28 and SL34
- Process: Washed (fermented overnight)
- Altitude: 1600 metres above sea level