Ngugu-Ini, Kenya


  • Tasting Notes: Cara Cara Orange, Plum, Cherry
  • Region: Kirinyaga, Kenya
  • Process: Washed
  • Roast: Medium

Washing Station Name: Ngugu-Ini
Elevation: 1,600 masl
Varietals: Ruiru 11, SL 28, SL 34 and Batian
Producer: Various smallholder producers


About the Coffee:

Kirinyaga Ngugu-Ini Washing Station started in 1958 and is located in the central part of Kirinyaga County, in the buffer zone surrounding Mount Kenya National Park. Kirinyaga means “White Mountain” in the native Kikuyu language. At an altitude of 1,600 masl and surrounded with nutrient-rich red volcanic soil and glacier water (Ratagi river), Kirinyaga county is known for their coffee production. This county’s 600,000 residents and farmers also grow tea, macadamia, bananas, corn, and in the lower areas many raise cows for milk production. The farms are relatively small here, only 1-2 hectares.

Once picked and dropped off at the washing station, the cherries are sorted and depulped, removing the skin and pulp. Then they are dry-fermented in painted concrete tanks for 18-24 hours. When fermentation is complete and the mucilage is dissolved, the now parchment coffee gets washed in washing channels and graded again, where the lighter beans float up and the more dense ones get separated for a soak in clean water for up to 24 hours. Drying time then begins, varying from 12 to 20 days depending on weather conditions.

Farms in this region are surrounded by forests of native trees where wild animals such as elephants and buffalos live. In an effort to raise awareness on conserving their environment and sustainability, the Ngugu-Ini factory dug their wastewater soak pits a solid distance from their freshwater source, allowing the wastewater to soak in back to the soil where it won’t acidify the freshwater supply.