Kariua Farmers Cooperative Society

By: Chris Davidson

Kariua Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) is based near Karanda Town in Murang’a County. Kariua currently consists of four factories:

  • Githaiti
  • New Irera
  • Mutheru
  • Mutitu


Samples from Githaiti Factory stopped us in our tracks during our cuppings for 2019 selections. When tasting nearly 100 samples per day palate fatigue can start to set in, which in a way can be helpful in identifying the true stand-out lots.  That was the case with our Githaiti outturns, going down a row of 20 brilliantly acidic micro-lots when all of the sudden one leaps off the table; then another a few samples later. When we turned the sample cards over to reveal the factories we were all surprised to see an unfamiliar name.

Githaiti Factory is located near Mukoe Town, a small municipality in Murang’a County. Currently around 400 farmers deliver coffee to Githaiti, where their coffee is processed very similarly to the factories under Gatunyu Kigio FCS.  Average fermentation times after depulping are 12-16 hours in shaded concrete tanks without water. After fermentation the coffee is rinsed in concrete channels and no post-fermentation soak is currently being used. After washing the wet parchment is moved to skin drying tables to be spread in a very thin layer (around 1 inch) and dried for 2 days to remove surface and parchment moisture. Some hand sorting of parchment is done at this stage to remove any obvious defects. After skin drying the coffee is moved to the main drying tables for another 10-12 days of drying in full sun with frequent rotation. On very hot days the coffee is covered by canvas tarps to reduce the drying temperature.

This year’s arrivals from Githaiti have shown some incredible tropical and stone fruit character that contrast nicely to coffees from nearby Gatunyu Kigio FCS. Apricot, peach, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, orange and guava were all common notes from our panel, making Githaiti a terrific compliment to more citrus-forward Kenya offerings.


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