Gakuyu-ini is located in Kirinyaga, on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya. The region is blessed with ideal coffee growing conditions and fertile, volcanic soil. Around 1600 farmers form the Thirikwa Farmers Cooperative – they pick ripe cherries at an elevation of 1600-1700 meters above sea level.
The cup profile has strong notes of blackcurrant leaf, violet, plum and a lively acidity. A juicy mouthfeel is coupled with deep complexity that really shines in the cooling.
Thirikwa has consistantly been achieving high prices for their coffees and passed on high premiums to their member farmers. The processing station recycles the water they use for processing cherry and they distribute manure that is being used as fertilizer. The average farm size has around 200 coffee plants. For shade management and to support farmers outside of the coffee season, banana and macadamia trees are planted across the fields.
Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go into further processing. A disc pulping machine removes the cherries and pulp. The coffees are then graded by density into different qualities. The coffee is fermented for 16-24 hours under water. After fermentation the coffees are washed and again graded by density in washing channels. They are then soaked with clean water from the Gatomboya stream for 16-18 hours.
Drying takes place on raised African beds over 21 days. Coffees are covered at midday and at night.