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Tameside Advertiser - - COFFEE -

ES­PITE Kenya’s prox­im­ity to Ethiopia (widely be­lieved to be the re­gion from which cof­fee orig­i­nated), cof­fee was not cul­ti­vated there un­til 1893, when French Holy Ghost Fa­thers in­tro­duced cof­fee trees from Re­u­nion Is­land.

The cof­fee in­dus­try in Kenya is noted for its co-op­er­a­tive sys­tem of pro­duc­tion, pro­cess­ing, milling, mar­ket­ing and auc­tion sys­tem.

About 70 per cent of Kenyan cof­fee is pro­duced by small-scale hold­ers.

In 2012, there were about 150,000 cof­fee farm­ers in Kenya and an es­ti­mated six mil­lion Kenyans were em­ployed di­rectly or in­di­rectly in the cof­fee in­dus­try.

The acidic soil in high­lands of cen­tral Kenya, with just the right amount of sun­light and rain­fall pro­vide ex­cel­lent con­di­tions for grow­ing cof­fee plants.

Cof­fee from Kenya is of the ‘Colom­bia mild’ type and is well known for its in­tense flavour, full body and pleas­ant aroma, with notes of co­coa and high grade, mean­ing cof­fee from Kenya is one of the most sought-af­ter cof­fees in the world.

The Ther’i fac­tory is sit­u­ated in Mu­raran­dia and is af­fil­i­ated to the New Mu­raran­dia Farm­ers Co-Op So­ci­ety.

There are 650 ac­tive mem­bers of the fac­tory.

Th­ese small-holder mem­bers each have on av­er­age around one acre of land for cof­fee grow­ing along­side macadamia, beans, ba­nanas and maize.

The area has rich and fer­tile red vol­canic soil at al­ti­tudes of 1,850 me­tres above sea level. ]

The small­holder mem­bers of the co-op­er­a­tive have ac­cess to train­ing and tech­ni­cal ad­vice along with ad­vance pay­ments for farm in­puts.

The Ther’i cof­fee it­self has a re­ally pleas­ant aroma, and is sur­pris­ingly full bod­ied for a Kenyan cof­fee, well- bal­anced but quite in­tense.

There is a sweet­ness with quite in­tense lemon and or­ange flavours, a hint of tomato and rhubarb – a full-on taste sen­sa­tion.

● Brian Hock­en­hull makes cof­fee at his shop in Up­per­mill, Old­ham

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