Western Muranga County runs directly into the upland Aberdare Mountain range on rich red volcanic soil ideal for producing some of Kenya’s best coffees. The Aberdare range contributes significant climate influence over this part of Muranga, keeping the vegetation cooler and well-respirated. Coffees from Gondo factory tend to be rich and tangy, with syrupy texture and tart stone fruit notes. Individual farmers in these fertile foothills average 250 coffee trees each, and half-acre plots per family.
The Gondo processing station, is one of three sites managed by the New Kiriti Farmers’ Cooperative Society (FCS). New Kiriti has 2,469 farmer members across the three factories, 727 of which deliver cherry to Gondo. Kenya is of course known for some of the most meticulous at-scale processing that can be found anywhere in the world. Bright white parchment, nearly perfectly sorted by density and bulk conditioned at high elevations is the norm, and a matter of pride.
At Gondo, cherry is hand-sorted for ripeness and floated for density before being accepted and depulped each day. After the coffee is washed, it’s soaked in fresh water for long periods of time to stop sugar fermentation and clean the parchment. The coffee is dried over a period of two weeks on raised beds, which are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control for optimal drying.