Grown in the highlands between the eastern base of the Aberdare Range and the western slopes of Mt Kenya in young volcanic soil, coffee from the Nyeri district tends to develop classic balanced Kenyan taste profile: fresh fruitiness, crisp citrus, bright acidity.
Smallholders rather than large estates are most common, and most growers belong to cooperative organizations which own processing mills to which members can bring their harvested cherries. Wachuri Factory once belonged to the larger Tetu Cooperative. Tetu collapsed in the 1990s, and the various washing stations like Wachuri then evolved into farmer cooperatives themselves.
As such, it has all the usual coffee factory equipment-a hard-working disc pulper, washing channels, and fermentation tanks, along with soaking tanks, wet tables where the freshly washed coffee drains for up to 6 hours, then raised drying beds to make the most of the Kenya's warm sun and fresh breeze.
Most days during harvest season, Wachuri coop members bring their freshly picked coffee cherries by the grocery bag-sometimes half full, sometimes more. They sort them to cull any that are too ripe or not ripe enough, and any accidental debris or damaged cherries before bringing their daily pick to be inspected and weighed.
The last touch these farmers have with their coffee is when they upend their bag of sorted, weighed cherries and watch them tumble down the slanted surface of the collection bin. After that, the factory/washing station workers process, ferment, wash, and dry the parchment before transporting it to the dry mill for the next stage of its journey. ---