The Muthathai family—owners of Ngarutua—have been growing coffee on the slopes of Mount Kenya since 1958. Today, Peterson and Purity Muthathai run the farm with the help of their children, and they all work together to refine processing and improve quality. Their work is exemplified in this selection and the coffee is highlighted with a silky body and vibrant notes of pomegranate and citrus.
The Ngarutua farm was established in the 1940s, by Paul Muthathai Ngarutua. Kenya was still under British colonial rule, and native Kenyans like Paul could only plant 100 trees at that time. In the 1960s this law was changed and Ngarutua expanded the number of trees under Paul’s direction. When Paul passed away, operations management passed on to his wife, Dina Mukami Muthathai. Dina ran the coffee farm until 1975, when management was passed on to their son, Peterson Muthathai.
In 1994, Peterson set up a small washing station at the farm to better manage and control the coffee. In 2015 the Muthathai family partnered with Counter Culture in a collaborative relationship that we are thrilled to continue.
Today, under Peterson’s leadership, Ngarutua continues to expand. The original 4-hectare parcel of land is now just over 7 hectares with a total of approximately 7,000 SL-28 and SL-34 coffee trees and a very small handful of Ruiru 11 trees that were planted as a test. It’s worth noting that this season, Ngaratua was one of the very few farms not affected greatly by CBD (coffee berry disease). They took extra caution in applying fungicides appropriately and experienced less than a 10 percent loss of their crop, where the average was 60 percent and above. Peterson is also the president of Kushikamana, an inspiring group of farmers located in the Eastern and Central regions of Kenya who work together to increase the quality of their coffees.
Ngarutua (pronounced GAR-ooh too-ah)
The Ngarutua farm was established in the 1940s and named after its founder, Paul Muthathai Ngarutua.
The county of Embu is located on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya, just east of the regions of Kirinyaga and Nyeri, and less than 100 miles north of Nairobi the capital of Kenya. Embu is dominated by agriculture, with coffee farming being the largest cash crop followed by tea production.