MASL - 1500 - 2000
Usual processing methods - Washed

Kenya is one of the latest countries to grow coffee, some 300 years after the plant was first cultivated for sale. Coffee was originally planted in Kenya while it was still under British occupation. Its cultivation became increasingly important as demand for coffee grew in Europe. Once Kenya achieved independence from Britain in the 1960s, many smallholders were given coffee plantations as part of the distribution of private and colonially-owned property.

In the 2000s, approximately 85% of coffee plantations were owned by Kenyan farmers. Today the majority are small farms, some with as few as 150 coffee trees.

This coffee is grown by smallholders contributing to the Rwama Farmer Cooperative Society (F.C.S) and processed at the Muthingiini Factory near Kianyaga town, which is in a division of Kirinyaga.

The factory has seven permanent members of staff and in addition to sorting and processing coffee, F.C.S members are provided with various services here including pre-financing, advances for school fees and farm inputs. The factory is a centre for agricultural education, offering training and seminars plus regular field days hosted by the Minister for Agriculture. There is also a "test farm" near the factory, which is used for demonstrations of new techniques and best practice.

Farmers deliver ripe cherry to be sorted, depulped and fermented overnight before washing. The coffee is then soaked before being laid on raised beds to dry over 7-15 days. The green beans are constantly turned by hand during drying to ensure consistency.

Washed process allows the natural flavour of the bean to shine through without being added to by a lot of fermentation.