The Mutheka Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS) consists of more than 6000 active farmer members, approximately 900 of which use the Kigwandi factory. The factory, which is part of the Mutheka FCS, uses hydro electric power from the Kagumo River to run its operations.
Smallholder farmers delivering cherry to the Kigwandi factory have an average of 207 coffee trees each and generally farm food crops alongside their small coffee plots.
Cherries collected from the farmers in the region are bulked together and washed, fermented and laid out on raised beds to dry. The Cooperative puts a lot of focus on quality and are known for their meticulous sorting through the whole process.
Although their equipment is old and in need of upgrade, they keep winning a local competition for quality and continue to produce exceptional coffee.
At the Kigwandi Factory, the coffee is fermented in tanks for 48 hours and then soaked for a second fermentation of 24 hours. Once the mucilage is removed the coffee parchment is taken to raised beds to dry for 2-3 weeks depending on the climate. This double fermentation or “Kenya Wash” contributes to incredible deep sweetness and complex acidity.