The Thirikwa Cooperative Society is located on the Upper Medium (or UM2) zone of Mt. Kenya. Its membership consists of 1,553 smallholder farmers, of whom 674 are women. Together, they produce about 250 tons of cherry per season in red, volcanic soil.
Farmers handpick ripe cherry and deliver it to the Gakuyini mill for processing the same day. At the mill, cherry sorting is carried out before pulping, and ripe cherries are separated from underripe, overripe, and foreign matter.
The mill uses clean river water for its processing and recirculates the water before disposing of it in seepage pits. The coffee is then dried in the sun on raised beds before being delivered to the dry mill for secondary processing. Gakuyuini is about 130km from Nairobi and is represented by five elected management-committee members.
In the cup, we pulled out red grape, chocolate and, red wine. Sweet and savory, joined and balanced.