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We Taste: Dried Cranberries, Red Plums, Mandarin Peels
Recommended Brew Methods: Hario V60, Aeropress
Country/Region: Kenya, Nyeri County
Varietal: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Natian
Elevation: 1600 - 1800 m.a.s.l.
The Mutitu factory, or wet mill, is located near the town of Mukurweini in Nyeri county, on the eastern slopes of the Aberdares mountain range. This wet mill is supplied by approximately 750 smallholder farmers, and is also one of the oldest wet mills in Kenya, having been established in 1957.
The main crop is usually harvested from October through December. In 2019, Mutitu processed approximately 350 000kg of cherries. Cherries that are processed through here are first depulped with a disc pulper, before going through dry fermentation for 12 to 24 hours, depending on the ambient temperature.
After fermentation, the coffees are then passed through washing channels to thoroughly remove all the pulp from the parchment skin. Lastly, the greens are soaked in clean water for up to 36 hours before drying them on raised beds.
A typical coffee sorting system in Kenya will involve two different stages. Firstly, as the cherries pass through the washing channels, they are graded by density, into 3 categories, P1 (Parchment 1) being the most dense, P2, and Lights. These lots then continue the processing journey separately.
Secondly, the parchment will undergo another grading system at the dry mill, which will end up being sorted into grades such as AA, AB, PB, etc., as per screen size. The larger AA grade tends to command a higher price, but there are exceptions, especially when the quallity lies dependant on the processing and defect-sorting quality. In this case, the Mutitu is of AA grade.