Kenya Handege by Ritho FCS – Peaberry
"The dry aroma is citrus, lime and cranberry. It’s a very bright coffee. At first sip, lime peel, grapefruit. Plum and black berry emerge in the midsection. As it cools, it became sweeter similar to ripe cranberry in the end. Though it is bright, the coffee is smooth and filled with texture."
This peaberry lot is produced by members of Ritho Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) and it is processed by Handege Coffee Washing Station. Hendege washing station is located around 5km from Gatundu, home of fine coffee from Kenya, Kiambu. It sits on a plateau with an altitude of 1800 masl.
Ritho FCS operates two washing station. First is Handege and the other is Wamuguma. Handege factory was constructed in the mid 60s and began its operation late in 1967. The FCS now has 1000 members and half of the annual crop is delivered to Handege, which is also the FCS headquarters. The washing station is strategically located as it serves a wide number of community based producer.
Farmers from Gatundu are mainly small holders and most of the coffee is delivered to Ritho FCS which organize the collection during harvest. Most of the farmers here have been working together with Ritho FCS since 1967 and some farmers are in the 3rd generations smallholders farmers. Ritho usually apportions part of their annual profits back to the community by providing financing for school fees, farm inputs and subsidized fertilizer to its members.
The regional soil in Gatundu is well nurtured with red volcanic rock and patches of loam with adequate rainfall per year to ensure that the soil is wel saturated.
We usually have AA grade or AB grade for our Kenyan coffee. It has been a while since we roast peaberry coffee, peaberry is a natural mutiation on regular coffee cherry containing one coffee seed instead of the usual two. Peaberry usually make up 5% of the coffee crop. It gets its name from its unique round pea shape. It is usually brighter in acidity and more buoyant.
Quality is managed first at the collecting station. The Ritho FCS is responsible to pay the farmers as soon as it is delivered at the collecting station. Farmers is paid a premium for the ripe cherries which motivates the farmer to only picked the riped cherries. The cherry is then delivered to the washing station and then it is then sent to the hopper to be pulped. Water from Tharirika River is used to pulp and ferment the pulped cherries. The cherries is first fermented by soaking water for 36 hours. Then the coffee is thoroughly washed to remove the mucilage on the coffee. Next the washed and cleaned parchment is pre dried on a sink table before it is dried on African Beds. The whole process take up to 2 weeks to complete.
Variety : SL 28, SL34 (Peaberry)
Altitude : 1800 masl
Process : Washed
Origin : Kiambu