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The Handege washing station is part of the larger Ritho Farmers Cooperative Society (FCS), 5km apart is its sister washing station, Wamuguma. Cherries harvested from the approximately 1000 members of the FCS are split equally between the 2 washing stations.
Derived from the word "Ndege" which means aeroplane or bird in Swahili. The Handege washing station and its counterparts within the Ritho FCS have benefited greatly through consistently high quality of cherries due to its focus on quality and sorting, this quality focused approach was a result of experiencing inconsistent commodity pricing which was affecting the value of their production.
Processing of cherries go through a typical Kenyan double wash method where depulped cherries are undergo 2 cycles of fermentation and washing, and subsequently dried on African style raised beds, creating the lively and effervescent profile that it is so highly prized for.
As with most washing stations in Kenya, strict controls are placed at cherry collection points, where rigorous sorting and low thresholds for unripe or defective coffee is maintained by the "Cherry Clerk", an integral member of staff during harvest. Interestingly, rejected coffee is usually taken back by the farm to be dried (often a tarp in the yard) to be delivered only at the end of season as low quality ‘Mbuni’ – natural process coffee that earns a very low price.
Taste Notes: Cranberry, Redcurrant, Hibiscus
Recommended Brew Methods: Aeropress
Country/Region: Kenya/Kiambu County
Varietal: SL 28 & SL 34, Ruiru 11
Elevation: 1850 - 1950 m.a.s.l.