In the neighbouring Kiambu county, located in the Central Highlands of Kenya, sits Fairview Coffee Estate which has been running since the early 1900s. The 320 acres are owned by former Kenyan Ambassador to the U.S, Mr Leonard Oliver Kibinge and his family. 120 of those acres are dedicated specifically to Coffee farming, while the remaining acres are used for Dairy farming and as wedding grounds upon hire.
You can enjoy a morning tour (10am-12pm) or an afternoon tour (2pm-4pm) of the farm, and freshly brewed coffee straight from the source, at a fee. Non-residents will pay Kshs. 3,000 ($USD 30), residents Kshs. 2,000 ($USD 20), adult Kenyan citizens Kshs. 1,000 ($USD 10), children 12-18 years Kshs. 500 ($USD 5) and children below 12 accompanied by a paying adult enter free of charge.
108 permanent employees have been employed here. 80 tons of coffee is handpicked every year. Arabica coffee, particularly SL28 and Ruiru 11, is what is grown here. Early crop harvest, which is 25% of the total harvest, takes place from May to August. Late crop harvest, which is 75% of the total coffee harvest annually is from October to December.
The soil needs to have a pH value of 4.5 to 5.5 in order for coffee to do well.
Overhead irrigation is practised during sunny weather.
Coffee berry disease, characterized by black spots forming on the berries, and leaf rust (found under the leaf) are the most common destroyers of coffee. These, however, can be controlled through the spraying of pesticides.
The 3 qualities to look out for when selecting great coffee are acidity, body and flavour.