Sourcing coffee in a transparent and sustainable way can be challenging in Kenya. We’ve typically limited our sourcing from Kenya, and focused instead on places where we feel we can create a meaningful impact for farmers. Fortunately, we’re starting to see changes in the Kenyan coffee sector, and through our connections, we’ve sourced this amazing coffee from a single farm: Ngarutua Estate.
Ngarutua, a family farm run by the Muthathai family, is located on the southeastern slopes of Mt. Kenya within the county of Embu. Established by Paul Muthathai Ngarutua, the farm has been growing coffee for over 60 years. Until the 1960s the Kenyan government under British colonial rule had restrictive laws that limited how many coffee trees farmers could grow. When these laws were lifted, Ngarutua drastically expanded its coffee production.
When Paul passed on, his wife Dina Mukami Muthahai took over operations, running the farm until 1975, when her son Peterson Muthathai took over. Peterson, a well-known and respected educator in Embu, expanded the original 10 acre farm to its current size of 18 acres. Today the farm has a total of 7,000 trees. In the 90’s, Ngarutua built its own on-farm washing station and processing site. This gives them a much higher degree of control over the quality of their coffee.
Ngarutua is still a family operation. Peterson, along with his wife, Purity, run the farm today. Their children, who live in different parts of the country, return during the picking season to assist with the processing and drying. Peterson and Purity continue to invest in the infrastructure to create better systems, from processing to drying, and plan to experiment with new varieties and new techniques.