Farm: Rumukia Farmers Cooperative Society, Tambaya Factory
Varietal: SL28, SL34 & some Ruiru (5%)
Processing: Fully washed & sundried
Altitude: 1,550m to 2,300 metres above sea level
Owner: 1093 Smallholders delivering to Rumukia Farmers Cooperative Society, Tambaya Factory
Town / City: Karatina
Region: Nyeri County, Central Kenya
Rumukia AA - Kenya
This coffee was produced by various smallholder farmers delivering to the Rumukia Farmers’ Cooperative Society Tambaya Factory, nestled within the rich red volcanic foothills of Mt. Kenya in Karatina area of Nyeri district. Formerly affiliated with the now defunct Mukurwe-ini FCS, the factory was established in 1982, serves 1,093 smallholder members and currently produces just over 140 tonnes of coffee per annum. In addition to the Tambaya factory, the Rumukia Farmers Society operates several others: Kagunyu Factory, Gatura Factory, Thunguri Factory, Maganjo factory, Kiawamururu Factory (formerly Mukure-ini Society), Gaikundo Factory, and Ndiani Factory.
The cooperative is managed by a democratically elected board of members, each of whom serve as a representative of a community where the cooperative has members. Additionally, the Cooperative provides employment for permanent members of staff, headed by the Secretary Manager, who oversees the day-to-day running of the Coop under the board’s supervision.
This lot is composed primarily of SL28, with some small amounts of SL34 included.
Farmers selectively handpick the ripest, reddest cherries, which are then delivered to the cooperative’s wet mill on the same day. Cherries are hand sorted prior to pulping, with damaged and under ripe cherries being separated out from the red, ripe lots. After pulping the coffee is fermented. After fermentation, the coffee is washed in clean, fresh water to remove all traces of mucilage before being delivered to dry on raised beds where it is repeatedly moved and sorted to remove any damaged or discoloured beans.
In addition to producing high quality coffee, Rumukia Farmers Society is clearly committed to improving the quality of life of its members. The cooperative has gained Fairtrade certification and regularly organises “field days” to train its members in agricultural best practices. The cooperative also offers credit services for education and medical emergencies to its members.
Screen sizing in Kenya
The AA, AB and other grades used to classify lots in Kenya are an indication of screen size only. They are not any indication of cup quality. The AA grade in Kenya is equivalent to screen size 17 or 18 (17/64 or 18/64 of an inch) used at other origins. AA grades often command higher prices at auction though this grade is no indication of cup quality and an AB lot from a better farm may cup better.