LIMWE – Kenya

12.0043.70

Dark chocolate, Black currant, Brown sugar, Elderflower, Raspberry, Lime

FARM/COOP/STATION: Limwe
COFFEE GRADE: AA
VARIETAL(S): Batian, Ruiru 11
PROCESSING: Fully Washed
OWNER: Livien Osiemo
FARM SIZE: 8 hectares
ALTITUDE: 2,070 meters
REGION: Nyamira 100%
COUNTRY: Kenya

Tax included (23% IVA)

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Additional information

Livien Osiemo has long dreamed of having a coffee farm. At Limwe Estate, he is fulfilling his dream while striving towards excellence. In 2015, he purchased Limwe Estate and planted the first coffee trees on the farm. The farm is spread across five plots in Nyamira County. Together, they make up about 8 hectares of coffee plantings. At the high altitudes of 2,070 meters above sea level, pests and coffee diseases are minimal. Therefore, use of pesticides and fungicides are low and largely unneeded. With help from Sucafina/Kahawa Bora, Livien also has access to training about improved pruning, cultivation and harvesting methods. Kahawa Bora’s field staff have also performed soil analysis on small estates to inform correct input application, which helps improve yields and quality while reducing cost and environmental impact. This focus on high quality at all stages of cultivation and processing has increased cup scores in a short period of time.Traditionally, many farmers of this size in the country did not own their own processing equipment. They have historically delivered cherry to a centralized cooperative-owned ‘Factory’ (as washing stations are called, locally), where their production is combined with that of others from their region. Livien has his own small wet-mill where he is able to process his own coffee, ensuring full traceability back to his farm.Cherry is selectively handpicked and then pulped. Coffee is then fermented for 12 to 24 hours in a small tank before being washed in clean water to remove any remaining mucilage. All wastewater from the washing process is cleaned to ensure environmental impact is limited.Parchment is soaked in clean water for 12 to 14 hours and then transferred to raised beds where it sundries for 21 to 30 days. As it dries, parchment is turned regularly to ensure even drying. Even for farmers who may have their own processing setup, the dry-milling set-up within Kenya does not well serve small-to-medium size farmers. Dry mills have lot minimums, which are usually about 50 bags of parchment per lot. This is often unattainable for smaller farmers, necessitating that they merge their lots with others, losing traceability, which in turn lowers their overall returns and removes potential for name recognition and direct-trade relationship. To cater to single producer lots that are very small, Kahawa Bora/ Sucafina has a separate microlot milling line that was custom made to hull (remove the parchment from the green coffee beans) lots as small as one bag at a time. This line makes it possible for growers to maintain their own ‘brand’ when selling their coffee. We feel this is a push in the right direction for Kenyan growers to gain market access to quality-focused buyers overseas.