The Karagoto wet mill is quite close to the Kieni mill, which is near the town of Karatina, Nyeri.
It's owned by the Tekangu Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society, which got its name from combining the names of their three mills: Tegu, Karogoto and Ngunguru. Much like Kieni, this one has seen success in recent years and has secured some really great prices for the farmers that deliver their coffee cherries to it.
The mill is split in half by a road, with the sorting shed and fermentation tanks on the lower side and the drying beds on the upper slope of the hill. Both sides are pretty steep, with a great view of the valley and weaver birds making their homes in the trees around the mill.
Ephraim Maina Muthee manages the mill. He showed us around when we visited in 2016, and Steve planted a coffee plant with him on the slope just below the sorting shed.
Normally the seed of the coffee fruit grows into the green bean that we all know and love from two fertilised seeds inside each fruit,. However, sometimes things are a little different and a Peaberry is born. When only one of the two seeds is fertilised, it produces a smaller bean that looks like a shrunken version of what we'd normally know as a coffee bean. That's because only one seed has grown instead of two.
Some say Peaberry coffees are sweeter and more delicious than their regular cousins; some people even come to us specifically looking for these coffees because they crave them so much! I'll let you be the judge.
Ever had caramelised orange? This coffee is full of it. There's a little blackcurrant edge and it's sightly sherbet-like too.
Nearest town: Karatina
Owners: Tekangu Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society
Contributing farmers: 1,700+
Altitude: 1,700 m.a.s.l.
Processing method: Washed
Average rainfall: 1,500 mm
Temperature range: 12–27°C
Soil type: Well-drained red volcanic soil rich in phosphorus