Kenya is known for growing some of the most intense coffees in the world. The coffees are rich in fruity acidity while maintaining a heavy body. Some people believe this is drawn from the red volcanic soils surrounding Mount Kenya. The total area under coffee cultivation in Kenya is estimated at 160,000 hectares.
The Kirinyaga District sits on the foothills of Mount Kenya, bordering the well-known coffee region Nyeri in the west. It is named after Mount Kenya: the word Kirinyaga describes its snow-capped peaks in the local language. As part of the Kibirigwi Farmers Cooperative Society, the Kiangai Factory grows this excellent coffee. The cooperative comprises eight factories in the area. Kiangai means „holy ground“ or „belonging to god“. In the past, the area around the factory was used for religious purposes by the locals. Today, the farmers benefit from the deep red organic soils in the region, which are rich in organic matter. Kiangai Factory counts around 900 members, mostly smallholder farmers, who deliver their cherries from about 180,000 coffee trees in total.
During harvest, only the ripest cherries are hand-picked and delivered directly to the wet mill. There, they are sorted, pulped, using freshwater from the river Ragati, and fermented overnight. The next day, the coffee beans are washed before being spread out on raised beds to dry in the sun under careful supervision. Once the parchment reaches the desired moisture level of 10 - 12%, it is bagged up and prepared for export.