Region: Nyeri

Variety: SL - 28, SL - 34

Processing: Washed

Altitude: 1800 m

Cup: White grapes, Cranberry, Key lime


Gatomboya smallholder farmers 

Gatomboya Factory (washing station) is part of the Barichu Farmers' Cooperative Society. Gatomboya collects cherries from about 600 smallholders with an average of 0,4 hectares of dedicated to growing coffee. Their total production is about 350 tonnes of cherries per year. Fermentation is done with fresh river water from Gatomboya stream.

Gatomboya is a Kikuyu word meaning “swamp”, referring to the swampy nature of the land which makes it good for growing arrowroot.

The Barichu Cooperative Society is located in Nyeri in Central Kenya. Nyeri is known for its intense, complex, and flavour-dense coffees. It is made up of mainly smallholder farms, each with some 100 trees. They are organised into Cooperative Societies that acts as umbrella organisations for the factories where the small­holders deliver their coffee cherries for processing.

The annual average rainfall in the area is 1400 mm. The temperatures are mainly between 14 and 25 celcius. The soils around Mount Kenya is rich volcanic soils, mainly Nitisol, a type of soil commonly found in highlands and on steep volcanic slopes. Nitosol is developed from volcanic rocks and has better chemical and physical properties than other tropical soils.

The main flowerings are in February – March, the main harvest from October to December and the coffees are normally available for purchase between January and April.


The smallholders mainly have SL 28 and SL 34. Small amounts of other mixed varietals can occur.


Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. An Agaarde disc pulping machine removes the skin and pulp. The coffees are graded by density in to 3 grades by the pulp­er. Grade 1 and 2 go separately to fermentation. Grade 3 is considered low grade. The coffee is fermented for 16-24 hours under closed shade. After fermentation the coffees are washed and again graded by density in wash­ing channels and are then soaked under clean water from the Gatomboya stream for 16-18 hours.