Kenya: Ichuga AB
In the cup: Juicy berry tones, crisp citrus notes and sparkling acidity against a background that brings to mind elements of Earl Grey tea.
Cupping Score: 89
Mouthfeel: Silken, layered.
Variety: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11
Process: Fully Washed
Producer: Ichuga Factory / Kiama Cooperative
Altitude: 1700 meters above sea level
Ichuga is one of 5 factories owned and operated by Kiama Farmer Cooperative Society. Located in Nyeri, near the town of Karatina, that station is located at 1,700 meters above sea level.
Nyeri’s red volcanic soil is rich in organic matter and nutrients, making it an excellent region for coffee product. Sucafina Kenya’s field team provides training to farmers and washing station employees. The station also receives prefinancing from Sucafina to support maintenance and operating costs.
Farmers selectively handpick ripe cherry and deliver it to washing stations near them. Cherry is carefully sorted at intake where under- and over-ripes, along with any foreign matter, are removed.
Once sorted, ripe, red cherry is added straight to the hopper and pulped. Coffee is fermented and then washed in clean water to remove any remaining mucilage.
Wet parchment is sorted and any damaged beans that remain are removed. Then, parchment is moved to raised beds to finish drying. Here, it is turned regularly to ensure even drying and covered at the hottest part of the day and overnight to prevent cracking and/or condensation. Workers will also regularly inspect drying parchment and remove any damaged beans. Drying time is usually around two weeks, depending on the weather at the time.
Nyeri County is one Kenya's most famous growing regions.
The name Nyeri is derived from the Masaai word nyiro, meaning red, after the red volcanic soil in the area. The name was adapted by white settler farmers to Nyeri. Most farmers in the area today grow tea and coffee as cash crops. Coffee varieties in the region are usually a mix between SL 28, SL 34 (roughly 80%) Batian and Ruiri 11.