LOCATION AND BACKGROUND
Kainamui is situated in Ngariama location, Gichugu division of Kirinyaga County. It was established in 1963 and now the Kainamui factory has 2000 members (1200 men and 800 women). Each individual producer is quite small, owning an average of 200 trees.
SOILS AND CLIMATE
With ideal conditions for coffee growing, farmers benefit from the mineral-rich, red volcanic loam soils and an altitude of 1,650 meters above sea level. A combination of 1800mm of annual rainfall and a temperature of 16-26°C is exactly what has seen voluminous coffee proportions delivered to the factory during peak season.
The coffee is handpicked and delivered to the wet mill for pulping. This initially separates the dense beans from the immature ‘mbuni’s (floaters) by floatation which lets the denser beans sink and later sent through channels to the fermentation tank.
This first stage of fermentation lasts for about 24 hours, after which the beans are washed and sent to the secondary fermentation tank for 12-24 hours.
Once fermentation is done, the beans enter the washing channels. There floaters are separated further and the dense beans are cleaned of their mucilage. The washed beans then enter soaking tanks where they sit under clean water for another 24hours. This soaking process allows amino acids and proteins in the cellular structure of each bean to develop, resulting in more acidity and complex fruit flavours – a quality that distinctively identifies Kenyan coffee.
The beans are laid in a thin layer on the initial drying tables, there the moisture levels lower to around 50%. This first drying stage cans last up to 6 hours before the beans are gathered and laid in thicker layers for the remaining 5-10 days of the drying period.
The dry parchment is then delivered to a private mill and put to rest in ‘bodegas’ – raised cells made of chicken wire to ensure the necessary air circulation. Coffee is traditionally sold through an auction system, though recent amendments to the coffee law of Kenya, now allow direct trading whereby farmers by-pass the auction and sell directly to specialty roasters around the world.
From funds set aside from the previous year’s harvest, members of the cooperative can access pre-financing for school fees, access to farm inputs and funds for emergency needs.
The factory has partnered with Coffee Management Services (CMS), for its agronomical ventures. The long-term goal is to increase coffee production through farmer training, ready access to inputs, Good Agricultural Practice seminars, and providing updated printed materials on sustainable farming. Paying producers the highest possible returns sets the momentum for optimum coffee production.
Kainamui coffee factory has maintained an incredible state of production, both in terms of quality and quantity. However, there is a notable decline in its total production for the last two years, which may be due to ecological factors among others.
Patrick Njogu runs the management at Kainamui, along with his unmatched team. They ensure all the coffee processes run smoothly and diligently. Some of their responsibilities include weighing coffee, hand-picking, green grading, storage, transportation, training, paying and addressing farmer complaints.
About The Roaster
Floozy Coffee Roasting:
Floozy’s goal is to promote and advance the women in coffee, showcase the talents of the ladies in the industry, and train up future generations of badass coffee chicks.
Floozy is based in Newcastle, Australia and they have a rad cafe called ‘Let’s be Besties’ at 398 King St.