Solai Coffee Farmers- Kenya

Meet the dedicated Kenyan farmers who cultivate the exceptional coffee beans for Solai Coffee. Read their inspiring stories...
July 31, 2023 by
Gladys Kyule
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Unveiling the Essence of Coffee 

Coffee, often called "liquid gold," holds a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide. From its rich aroma to the comforting warmth it brings, coffee is a cherished beverage that has become an integral part of our daily routines. However, the journey from the coffee seedling to the prized coffee bean, destined for our cups is a labor of love, requiring immense patience and dedication from the farmers who cultivate it. 

Solai Coffee Farms Trip

In June this year, Our Team, Solai Coffee, collaborated with One BiGG Island in Space, led by Bob and Michelle, on a remarkable adventure to Nakuru's Solai Region to unveil the true essence of coffee; Solai farmers were thrilled to welcome us and share with us captivating coffee journey through the region. Together, we explored the intricate processes and rich traditions that contribute to the exceptional quality of coffee found in Nakuru's Solai Region.

An image showing the Solai coffee team together with One Bigg Island in Space posing for a photo at Kinugi, Rift Valley viewpoint on their way to Nakuru Solai coffee regionSolai Coffee team with One Bigg Island in Space team at the viewpoint Kinugi, Rift Valley Kenya.

Nakuru Solai coffee region

Nestled within the breathtaking landscapes of Nakuru, Kenya, lies the Solai Region—an area renowned for producing exceptional coffee. Here, the farmers toil under the African sun, their unwavering commitment evident in the quality beans they cultivate. 

Coffee is more than just a crop in Solai; it's a way of life, a tradition passed down through generations. The journey begins by understanding that each cup of coffee we savor is the culmination of the farmers' immense efforts and unwavering determination to bring us the finest brews

An image showing coffee farms in Kenya's Nakuru coffee growing region, Solai area           Farmers observing a coffee farm in solai, Nakuru Kenya

Exploring the riches of Solai Coffee Farms

In Solai, the farmers' days begin with the rising sun, diligently tending to their coffee plantations. Cultivating coffee is an art that requires a delicate balance of knowledge and intuition. From carefully nurturing the coffee plants to handpicking the ripest cherries, every step in the process is executed precisely. The farmers exhibit extraordinary patience, ensuring that only the finest cherries are harvested, as these cherries promise a genuinely exquisite coffee experience.

Once the cherries are harvested, the farmers embark on yet another intricate process—coffee processing. The cherries are carefully sorted, with the ripest and highest quality cherries selected for further processing. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that only the best beans make it to our cups. Solai region farmers exhibit a profound understanding of their craft, water method- employing technique passed down from their ancestors.

Beyond the technical aspects of coffee production, Solai's coffee farmers have an intimate connection with their land and crops. Their deep respect for nature and the environment is evident as they employ sustainable farming practices that protect the delicate ecosystem surrounding their plantations. Through organic farming and responsible water management, these farmers are stewards of the land, safeguarding its integrity for future generations.

An image showing the Solai coffee team, Visitors from One bigg Island in Space, and farmers posing for a picture at Liwani Coffee FarmThe big team; Solai coffee, One bigg island in space, and coffee farmers posing for a picture after farm round visits at Liwani coffee farm.

Interviews with Coffee Farm Owners

Stephen Kuria, Liwani farm owner

Since 1984, Stephen Kuria has embraced coffee farming in the Solai region. His love and dedication for coffee saw him end his career in civil service and begin what he describes as the best choice he ever made. The dedicated farmer began his remarkable journey of cultivating the exceptional cup by seeking land in Nakuru. Our team was lucky to have a moment with Kuria as we attempted to understand the makings of Solai coffee.

Coffee farming is a daily devotion - Kuria, Liwani Farm Owner.

Have you ever wondered why Solai coffee is consistent in its outstanding quality, exquisite flavors, and reputation? To farmer Kuria, coffee is a daily commitment. In our interview, He described his early morning rounds of inspecting coffee plants. In his rounds, Mr. Kuria pays attention to weeds, pests, or diseases before identifying the ideal method to address any concern. His daily devotion ensures any issues in quality of growth are addressed earlier to maintain the highest quality standards.

Kuria also mentioned how technology has revolutionized coffee farming. Introducing technology such as pulp and spraying machines has enabled farmers in Solai farms to be economical and efficient in farm operations, translating to better returns on the market.

Margaret Nyambura, Liwani farm owner

Margaret partners with her husband, Stephen Kuria, as Liwani farm owners. In our interactions, Margaret describes a beautiful 15-year journey in coffee farming. In her community, coffee farming has been a source of livelihood for many. Farm operations such as pruning, hard weeding, and harvesting coffee berries have become a source of employment for many locals in the area.

Coffee farming is a long-term investment- Margaret, Liwani farm Owner.

Margaret, also observed that climate change had been a negative factor in coffee cultivation. Thanks to technological innovations and new interventions, the Kuria's have managed to keep their farms in operation. She also described coffee farming as a long-term investment that youth should consider for personal and economic growth.

Alice Wangeci- Wagika Farm

Alice Wangeci, a dedicated mother and even better coffee farmer, expressed her gratitude for choosing coffee farming. For Alice, the harvesting season at the end of the year is some of the best moments of her life. In our interaction, she expressed how coffee farming operations brought people together as they realized the benefits of their dedication and labor in coffee farming.

Coffee farming keeps me busy- Alice, Wagika coffee farm.

She, however, described what made Solai coffee special. In our interview, Alice described the constant pruning, adding manure, boosters, and spraying in January to shower our exceptional coffee beans in preparation for the rainy seasons. She, however, mentioned the need to maintain sustainability by introducing the younger generations to coffee farming.

Farm Manager Simon Kimuchu

Our interaction with Simon Kimuchu was an eye-opening experience of sheer technique and expertise in coffee farming. For around 20 years, Kimuchu has dedicated his life to helping coffee farmers maintain high standards of coffee farming. Our team could only marvel at his sheer expertise as he took us through the entire process of farm preparations for cultivating Kenyan coffee.

Coffee farming is all about preparations- Kimuchu- Solai area Farm manager.

Kimuchu emphasized the importance of farm preparation and attention to detail for farmers to nature some of the world's best coffee. From plowing, measurement, pegging, and hole digging, Kimuchu demonstrated invaluable knowledge and experience, contributing to the reputable Kenyan coffee berries on the global stage. The farm manager also described the importance of mixing the top soil with dry manure and compacting the hole to remove air gaps. Our team was treated to the absolute embodiment of expertise, which continues to grace Solai farms and promises more years of liquid Gold! COFFEE.

Wana - Zambian Coffee Farmer

A coffee enthusiast and farmer, Wana has many coffee farms across African coffee-growing regions. As a farm manager and specialist, Wana had interesting comments about his experience of Coffee farming in Kenya compared to that of Zambia. Our visiting team was also privileged to have a moment with Wana, which turned into an eye-opening experience.

Coffee farming in Kenya has two seasons, and Zambia has one - Wana, Zambian Coffee agronomist and a farmer.

Did you know coffee farming in Kenya is done across two seasons? In his visits to Kenya, farmer Wana noted that Kenya experiences two rainy seasons, unlike Zambia, which only experiences one. However, all other farm management operations, such as pruning, pulping, and spraying, were similar. Wana expressed his impression of the beautiful country and the fantastic coffee produced within the Kenyan highlands.

As we sip our morning cup of coffee, let us reflect on its remarkable journey before gracing our palates. The Solai Region in Nakuru is a testament to coffee farmers' unwavering dedication and patience. Here, the golden elixir is crafted, where each bean tells a story of perseverance and love for their craft. 

The next time we raise our cups to the morning sun, let us remember the tireless efforts of the Solai farmers, who bring the essence of coffee to life and make our mornings genuinely golden.

Join us in Celebrating Coffee Farmers

Raising Our Cups in Appreciation

Gladys Kyule July 31, 2023
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