The name Kegwa comes from Kigwa, the Kikuyu word for sugarcane, the main crop produced in the region, 3km, around 2 miles, from Kiamutugu Town, 2 or so hours Northeast of Nairobi. The European missionaries in the area were apparently unable to pronounce the correct word Kigwa, and the name stuck.
Kegwa Factory is part of Ngiriambu Cooperative Society, together with one more factory, Kiri. In total, the co-op has over 3,500 active smallholder farmers, and an area growing coffee of approximately 440 hectares.
After harvesting, farmers deliver their coffee to the factory, sort and grade the cherry which is weighed, recorded and pulped using a disc pulper. Aftewards, the coffee ferments for 24-36 hours depending on ambient temperature, before being washed in channels to remove the remaining mucilage. The coffee is then soaked for another 24 hours and then finally put to dry in elevated drying tables for up to 20 days.
GOOD TO KNOW: The very best Kenyan coffees have pretty much originated from cooperatives (also known as “factories”) in Kenya. Most cooperative offerings are impeccable, as the system for processing has grown to be very efficient.