The “Mwiria” station is located at the base of Mt. Kenya, with amazing views on a clear day, perfect soil and microclimate for high-quality production, and easy access to the famous Rupingazi River for water.
Members are all smallholders with around a hectare or less of land. Coffee is usually grown on only a small part of the ‘shamba’ (farm), and farmers grow other crops to help support and feed their families. The factory has three permanent employees and brings in an additional 30 people during the peak of the harvest season. There are nine wastewater soak pits, used for draining wastewater from the pulping process. Napier grass and trees are planted around the pits to help purify the wastewater.
Processing at the Mwiria wet mill adheres to strict quality-driven methods. All coffee cherries are handpicked and are delivered to the mill the same day, where they undergo meticulous sorting. After pulping the cherries are delivered to one of the factory’s fermentation tanks, where they will ferment for between 12 to 48 hours depending on the ambient temperature at the time. After this, the coffee is fully washed to remove all traces of mucilage, during which time it will be graded. The coffee will then either be delivered to dry on the factory’s raised drying bed where the beans will dry slowly over the course of 2 to 3 weeks, during which time it will be turned regularly and covered during the hottest part of the day.