- October - December
Kenya Kivunguru Estate AA 2021
- FREE UPS
- 65lb Freshness
- Packed & Sealed
About the Farmer
Kivunguru is owned by John James and Eileen Gachewa. The day to day running of the farm is done by Eileen (pictured above). The farm has 4 hectares under coffee and is approximately 1700 meters asl - ideal for coffee cultivation. The soils in the farm are predominantly volcanic; rich in organic matter, free draining and deep in stature. The farm grows SL28, Ruiru 11 and Batian varietals and also rears dairy cows.
Kivunguru Estate has been a member of Volcafe Way since 2017. Kivunguru is located on the south-eastern side of Mt Kenya in Mbeti North, Manyatta Sub County, Embu County. Tea and coffee are the community’s main cash crops.
The Story Behind the Name
In the local dialect of the Aembu people, the biggest ethnic group in Embu County, Kivunguru denotes a large movement corridor for animals. A couple of decades ago, wild game like Buffalo, Antelope, Leopard, Hyena, Topi, and Bushbuck used to migrate from the high forest of Embu during the cold months of June & July, towards the warmer, low-lying zones of Embu County, also known as Mbeere. This migration used to happen annually. The migratory corridor from Njukiri to Mbeere passed right through this farm, so the farmer adopted this word Kivunguru, as the name of the farm, to remind future generations of the glory of the past.
The ripening of the cherry is closely monitored and when the time is right the red cherry is hand picked into buckets early in the morning and carried to the wet mill.
The harvested cherries are splayed out on a patio at the wet mill in the afternoon light, with underipes, overipes and any foreign object being removed before the mass of round red cherries are tipped into the hopper above the pulping station.
Clean water (wet processing) from the Kapingazi River is drawn up and poured into the hopper on top of the heaped cherries, funneling them down through a polished chute into the pulping house where the outer fruit is removed between two rotating abrasive slabs. The exposed coffee beans tumble out of the pulper into a channel of water, the floating beans are skimmed off, and the sinking, denser beans pass out through a hole in the bottom spilling into the fermentation tanks were they spend the night.
The next day the coffee is handled to see if the sticky sweet mucilage has broken down, leaving a rough parchment coating, once "the feel" of the coffee meets the wet mill manager's approval, water will be poured into the tanks to thoroughly wash the beans.
Once washed, the sluice gates are lifted allowing the coffee to spill out into the washing channels, in here the coffee slides down the gently sloping tiled channel. Wooden shunts are used to repeatedly push the coffee by hand back to the top of the channel, this repeated action separates the denser beans as the lighter beans will race back to the bottom under the force of the gentle current, whilst the denser higher quality beans will idle there way slowly down.
Sun drying of the parchment coffee on raised tables is done under careful supervision, the parchment coffee is covered up whenever there is sign of rain or the sun's rays are too harsh. The coffee is regularly checked for moisture and once it reaches the 10-12% target level, it will be bagged up for transport to the dry mill.
Region Embu County
Kivunguru Coffee Estate, Eileen Gachewa
SL28, Ruiru 11, Batian
October - December