The coffee representing Harken Coffee in our September subscription box is a coffee from the Gakuyu'ini Factory, a part of the Thirikwa Farmers Cooperative Society located in Kirinyaga County, Kenya. For those not familiar, the term "Factory" is essentially referring to the same structure as the term "Washing station". Washing stations and factories process (prepare the coffee to be roasted and consumed) coffee from farmers in the surrounding areas. Many farmers in East African coffee growing countries, such as Ethiopia and Kenya, are growing coffee in relatively small quantities. For this reason, and others, these farmers may be involved in what is called a "Cooperative", which is a structure designed to mutually benefit farmers by collectively processing (using washing stations/factories) and selling their coffee, and is a structure that works with, often times, multiple washing stations and factories. Cooperatives are able to provide to producers a somewhat consistent income, along with tools and equipment, such as equipment used in processing. This coffee roasted by Harken is a wonderful expression of the Gakuyu'ini washing station and we are happy to share it with you.
Here is an excerpt from Harken's website about Gakuyu'ini:
“This coffee comes from the Factory of Thirikwa Farmers Cooperative Society in Kirinyaga County, and was purchased at auction on the Nairobi Exchange. This Cooperative processes coffee from just this one factory. Coffee from Gakuyu'ini is SL28 and SL34 varietals, likely with some Ruiru 11 and Baitan varietals as well. The coffees are manually sorted, then mechanically depulped before clean water from the Kiri river washes and brings the coffee to fermentation tanks (the waste water is then deposited in deep wells to prevent erosion and minimize environmental impacts). The coffee is then layered out on drying beds and regularly turned, covered during the hottest part of the day, until the ideal moisture is achieved.”