Wash Station: Ndundu
Region: Kiganjo, Thika District, Central Province
Producer: Thiririka Farmers Co-Operative
Varietal: Sl28 & 34
Altitude: 1898 Masl
Taste Notes: Rose florals, lime and milk chocolate. A thick, creamy body with a juicy acidity.
Roast Profile: Filter
Ndundu Coffee Factory is located in a traditional tea growing area in the Thika District, near Gatundu town, in Kenya's Central Province, at an altitude of 1898m. It was established in 1980 and rests on 5 acres of land serving the Gachika, Ndundu and Waiganjo villages.
The factory is run by Patrick Kariuki, the factory manager, who works alongside 5 permanent members of staff and up to 8 seasonal employees during peak season.
The area experiences moderate bimodal rainfall of about 1500mm p.a., with temperatures ranging between 13-24 degrees Celsius. The long rains fall between March and May, while the short rains come between October and December. The region experiences a biennial production cycle, with the early harvest being from April to June and the late second season being from October to December.
The main varieties of coffee grown are SL28, SL34 and Ruiru 11, with SL28 and SL34 accounting for 99% of all coffee produced.
In line with rising awareness in Kenya on environmental conservation, Ndundu has initiated a couple of projects including building 20 waste water soak pits. These soak pits naturally filter waste water from processing, allowing it to soak back into the soil and avoiding any run off into local water supplies.
Ndundu is affiliated to the Thiririka Farmers Co-operative Society, whose membership currently stands at 500, of which 350 are active farmers. The affiliate members of the co-op carry out all agronomic activities associated with coffee production, sourcing coffee seeds from the Coffee Research Station, planting and cultivating according to the guidelines offered by the group. Fieldwork carried out involves weeding, pruning, application of fertiliser, mulching and technical advice. Technical advice is offered through farmer training programs and field visits offered by the ministry of agriculture.
Best practices are checked and supervised by the field committee, who visit farms in the area and check that coffee is not intergrown with other crops such as maize and beans, though they do allow intercropping with Macadamia. They also encourage farmers who have abandoned their coffee production to return to production and access better prices for their crops.
After harvesting all the coffee is delivered to the factory and undergo the wet processing method. Water is pumped from River Theta to the reservoir tanks for pulping and recirculation.
After pulping the coffee is stored overnight, washed, soaked and spread on raised drying tables. The parchment is turned frequently on the drying tables, before being sorted and stored prior to delivery to the dry mill operated by KPCU.
To ensure that processing is carried out efficiently, the factory has invested in a pulper, a recirculation system and about 20 conditioning bins.