The Ngugu-ini Washing station (or factory as it called in Kenya) was built in 1958, is owned by the Kibirigwi Cooperative Society. This society is the second largest in the county, with eight washing stations and 7,200 members, 1,200 of whom deliver to the Ngugu-ini washing station.
Ngugu-ini is situated at 1,600m above sea level, with an average temperature range of 12-24°C. The mild climate and high altitude means that the coffee cherries grown in this region are able to mature slowly, allowing time for a high concentration of the sugars to develop in the fruit. The region receives an annual rainfall of 1300mm, and is covered in red volcanic soil which boasts lush topography and voluminous coffee production. Harvest season occurs from May–June and again in November–December, with the most common varieties being SL-34, SL-28, Batian, and Ruiru 11.
Ngugi-ini adheres to stringent quality-driven practices at the washing station to ensure the very best coffee is produced, overseen by Factory Manager, Simon Peter Mathenge. All the coffee is hand-picked and delivered on the same day to the washing station, where it undergoes meticulous sorting. This is also done by hand, and is overseen by the ‘cherry clerk’ who ensures any unripe and damaged cherries are removed. A disc pulping machine then removes the skin and pulp, and grades by density into three grades. Grades one and two go separately to the fermentation process: grade three is considered low grade.
The members of the Ngugu-ini Factory also invest in and carry out agronomic activities associated with coffee production. They source coffee from the Coffee Research Station and plant it according to the specific guidelines. Fieldwork is carried out, often involving weeding, pruning, spraying, mulching, and applying fertiliser. Technical advice is presented through farmer training programs and field interactions offered by the ministry of agriculture. The field committee visits the farms to ensure their agreed guidelines are being complied with. They usually check that the coffee is not inter-grown with other crops such as maize, but they do allow intercropping with Macadamia. Ngugu-ini has long-term goals to increase their coffee production, training seminars, and access to education and sustainable processes for all the farmers they work with. They also maintain a demonstration plot that farmers can visit and reference in relation to their own plots.
Region: Kibirigwi, Kirinyaga
Producer: 1200 Members, Ngugu-Ini Factory
Variety: SL-34, Ruiru 11, Batian, SL-28
Taste Notes: Rhubarb, Black Currant, Caramel
Please note that 250g bags can be shipped in kava boxes as an additional option. All grind sizes are approximate and in relation to the equipment we use. Grind size or setting might differ from your equipment preferences. If not certain order beans as we can't accept returns for pre-ground coffees. Thank you for understanding.