Situated in the Central Province of Kenya, Gachatha is located in the slopes of the Aberdare mountain range, about 150km north of Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
More than 1000 farmers with small holdings bring the sweet fruits of their toil, ripe cherry to the factory, where it undergoes wet processing to remove the skin and the coffee along with pump is fermented overnight. Following day these beans are washed in water channels as workers sing in Swahili and move in a dance like rhythm. This washed coffee is again soaked under water (that’s why Kenyans are called double washed or at times double fermented) over night and is dried on raised beds. Drying may take 7 to 15 days in total.
The nearest water source is the Kangunu stream, and the factory is dependent on electrical pumps to move water to reservoir tanks before using it for processing. Water 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.
The factory is receiving assistance from Coffee Management Services (CMS). The long term goal is to increase coffee production through farmer training, ready access to inputs, Good Agricultural Practice seminars, and providing the most current printed materials on sustainable farming.