In Kenya’s central highlands east of the great Rift Valley lies the coffee growing region of Kiambu, Kenya. Here at the foothills of the Aberdare ridge, soils are red, volcanic, and rich in organic matter. Due to the temperate climate and friendly rainfall (some say Kiambu means “place of drizzles”), coffee farmers enjoy two harvests. The lighter “Fly” crop comes in May-July, while the heavier main crop ripens September-December.
Coffees from Kiambu are most often named for the areas within the region--i.e. Thika, Limuru, Ruiru. Much of Kiambu is composed of large estates with an eye to quantity production. That said, small holders and their cooperative organizations are alive and well, offering growers a better option than selling their cherries through the large operations. Instead, they bring them to their own mills for processing, and are able to obtain a fair price for them at auction.