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The Tekangu Cooperative
Karogoto is situated in Nyeri and is the biggest wet mill in the Tekangu cooperative society with over 1,700 members. All of them are smallholder farmers which sell their coffee cherries to the Karogoto factory (or wet mill as we normally call it). Some of the members have become quite famous for their extremely productive coffee farms. One of them, Mr. Elmud, a senior member and farmer has had a production of 35-40kg of coffee cherries per tree. This is a huge amount compared to, for example, Ethiopia where the average yield per tree is about 1.2 kg. Although Elmud does not have a lot of coffee trees in his small farm, the productivity and quality is very high due to his training with agronomists organized by the cooperative. He's been able to make a decent living because of this. After the cherries are delivered to the wet mill, Mr. Ephraim, the factory manager and also a farmer and Tekangu member, is in charge of processing and drying the coffee. He is very passionate about his job and does everything he can to make the coffee taste trieas good as possible. Since it is hard to work directly with the cooperative's thousands of smallholder farmers, we tried a different approach to help improve the quality of coffee from Karogoto. During one of our many visits, we noticed they were lacking drying beds and therefore did not have enough capacity to dry the coffee in the best possible way. The old drying beds were made of wood that had been eaten by termites and were collapsing under the thick layers of coffee drying on them. So in 2010 we collected money on our 3 year anniversary and donated the money to build 8 metal drying beds for coffee at Karogoto. We have been buying coffee from this cooperative for many years as it has consistently delivered one of the best coffees in Nyeri.
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How we work
Coffee Production Process
Picking & Sorting
The coffee is hand picked by the farmers and their families. After delivering the coffee to the wet mill the good coffee cherries are separated from the inferior ones.
Depulping, Fermenting & Washing
The cherries are depulped and graded by using an old disc de-pulper that uses water and gravity to sort dense beans from less dense beans. The beans are dry fermented for about 12-16 hours over night. After fermentation the coffee is washed and graded in the morning.
The coffee is dried on African elevated drying tables, where defect parchment coffee gets sorted out. The coffee is dried to a moisture between 10-12% and stored in conditioning bins before delivery to the dry mill. The coffee is vacuum packed before it is shipped to Norway.