With varying altitudes ranging from 1,500 to 1,700 meters above sea level, this region is defined by its bright red soils, full of rich nutrients for coffee trees. The high altitudes allow for ideal temperatures and rainfall for the slow maturation of coffee cherries. Smallholders in this region grow coffee on small plots of land and pick the cherries during harvest to deliver to the mill. There are two harvests in the Murang’a County, the main occurring from October- December, and a fly crop harvested between April and July.
Despite its proximity to the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia, coffee growing was introduced in Kenya relatively late – by Scottish missionaries, initially, and then commercially around 1900. Despite the late start, today, it is a country renowned for having some of the best coffees in the world. Nonetheless, Kenya’s coffee sector faces challenges for the future, and low global prices combined with climate change and population growth have diminished the country’s output over the last decade.