THIRIRIKA FARMERS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY. KIAMBU COUNTY
SL28 and SL34 varietals, some Ruiru 11 and Batian. 1600-1900masl.
This small Society commercializes the coffees of just three Co-Operatives. Established in 1996, HQ is in the township of Gatundu within the Kiganjo division of Kiambu County. With just 2,400 members in total the board is able to focus on quality and traceability. It was named after the Thiririka river that is the main body of water in the region. The Githembe farmers are located around the township of Githembe.
All farmers predominantly tend traditional varietals of SL 28 and SL 34, but as with ANY co-operative lot (don’t let them fool you), there is always a healthy amount of the CBD-resistant Ruiru 11, which still has high cup scores, and a smaller amount of Batian (more Rubusta genetically and less goodness in isolation on the table).
Cherry-sorting prior to depulping is carried out, after which a traditional depulper is used t remove cherry skins and flesh. Processing is traditional – after a disc-depulper removes cherry pulp, clean water from the Theta river is used to move coffee to fermentation tanks that is then recirculated before going to deep pits that separate out contaminating solids.
Another step that makes Kenyan coffee traditionally great is ‘skin drying’, where freshly washed coffee is protected for the first couple of days of drying, this is the most critical period in which to make sure coffee does not lose moisture too dramatically. Coffee is then spread thin on the drying beds and turned over as often as possible after which coffee is sun-dried until it reaches 11% moisture, and is covered during the middle of the day when the sun can break parchment open and dry coffee too quickly.