WINDRUSH / KENYA
Grapefruit, Dehydrated plum, Juicy, Tropical
Varietal: SL-28, Ruiru 11
Elevation: 1600 masl
Have you ever seen the Mighty Ducks 3? The one where they go to the olympics and beat the viking hockey team. There was a player on their team named Kenny Woo. When he scored a goal the announcer used to say with much enthusiasm “Wooo wooo Kenny Woo”. Thats pretty much how we feel about this coffee from Kiambu County in Kenya. It is just what we look for in these coffees. Up front juiciness and acidity, clean pronounced flavours of dark berries, grapefruit. It starts out sweet, is sweet in the middle, and guess what, finishes sweet. This one is for the coffee drinkers who want to taste intense sour candy in the cup. So yeah, it’s just like Kenny Woo. Now here’s some radical info about the farm.
Since 2015 Windrush farms has been managed by Edward Githinji. He implemented a rigorous pruning program, improved farm drainage and started converting the farm to organic. These are efforts you can taste in the cup.
Edward works for the Gathatha Farmers Company whose 300 shareholders took control of the farm in 1971. Lower elevations are dedicated to cow feed, fish ponds and tea while higher hills are for coffee. As of 2018 the 640 hectare farm was 1/3rd organic, with plans to go fully organic by 2020. Rich red loam soil is well drained, and assisted by additional drainage pits. Deep roots are encouraged through aggressive pruning, and in areas, by grafting SL-34 varietals on Ruiru II stock root.
Gatatha Farmers Company universe in and upon itself, located four hours north of Nairobi in the tea-filled highlands of Kiambu County. They work in tea themselves. And fish. And in feeder corn for cows, and in the milk that they produce. And real estate. And more. But all of this is funded by coffee.
Gatatha’s two brands – Yara Estate and Windrush Farms, pay big dividends for members, but only once per year. Whereas most large Kenyan cooperatives have failed over the years, in part because of pressure from members for more regular income, Gatatha has thrived by using coffee profits to fund a portfolio of investments which, in turn, provide monthly dividends to members. With enough left over to support local police, schools, roads and water projects.
Sometimes it’s boring work behind the bean that makes a coffee special. Coffees that come from these farms are top-notch, and good testament to this being true here. Our work with them is to provide that extra incentive they need to take the next step with lot separation and flotation. Because, when you are working with the best the only thing you can do is better.