KENYA | Gatomboya AB - Barichu Co-op
Altitude: 1700-1800 MASL
Varietal: SL28, SL34
Gatomboya AB is one of the sweetest Kenyans of the year: rainier cherry-like fruit quality with a tropical sweetness that resembles mango and papaya.At the base of Mount Kenya, fertile volcanic soil drapes broad, gently rounded slopes that cradle perennial fresh water streams. While fertile terroir is ideal, most would agree cup quality comes from Kenya’s notable commitment to processing cherry.
The entire regimen is sometimes referred to as the 72 hour process, a triple ferment process where the third stage utilizes fresh water to remove any lingering fruit. Farmers are encouraged to become members of a cooperative, which markets and sells coffee on the whole communities behalf. Most farmers in Kenya are smallholders and typically produce enough cherry for just a few bags. Washing stations are often called ‘factories’ and play an enormous role in the quality of the final product. Gatomboya is a Kikuyu word for “swamp,” referring to the nearby
Gatomboya River, which is used to wash and ferment coffees at the factory before they’re dried on raised beds. Over 1,300 farmers contribute to this factory with 800 tonnes of cherry delivered every season. The Barichu Farmers cooperative society operates a coffee shop on its premises catering to travelers on the highway. The income allows the society to reduce their overhead thereby increasing the farmer’s income.