Established in 1914 this is one of the original East African coffee farms, originally established by the British Catholic Colonists. It is through the coffee income that they, over the last century, managed to establish and maintain about 15 institutions, which specialize in seminaries, academic development (Nyeri High School which is one of the best in Kenya), the Mathari Mission Hospital), and the Kamwenja Teachers College.
The farm lies 300 km north of the Capital Nairobi and 2kms north west of Nyeri town. To the North –East it neighbors the beautiful snow-capped Mount Kenya (the second-highest mountain in Africa) and to the West is scenic Nyeri hill after which the farm is named. To the North West are the Aberdare ridges which are a home to a wide scoop of fauna and flora species. The Aberdare Range is home to beautiful holiday destinations, eg the “TreeTops hotel” which is arguably the most famous property in Africa. It’s here that Queen Elizabeth II learned about the death of her father King George IV and started her long reign over 50yrs ago.
Within the farm precincts also is the Italian Memorial Church where the remains of Sacrario Puca D’costa heir to the Italian throne and many prisoners of the 2nd world war (1937-1945).
The farm serves over 300 people directly who earn a living from it and over 16,000 people indirectly. Nyeri Hill Farm has Annual average rainfall of 950-1200 mm in a bimodal pattern. The farm lies between two permanent rivers namely River Chania and Muringato, which originate from natural springs on the Aberdare Ranges. The soils on the farm are well-drained and enjoy very deep loams of high fertility. The temperatures are between 7-28 degrees Celsius.
To conform to environmental sustainability standards both exotic and indigenous trees have been planted within the coffee fields in the last couple of years. The management has planted Bermuda Blue grass on sloped areas and leguminous trees such as Albizia, Grevillea, Acacia, and Sesbania bushes, digging of erosion basins on sloppy grounds has been a progressive operation on the farm.
The total farm size is approximately 1415 Ha (3,500 acres) with about 344 Ha under coffee. The total number of coffee trees on the farm is 374,028 with an average of 1087 trees/ha. The production potential of the farm is 500 tons-600 tons on 344 ha (850 acres) of land. Vast areas of the farm are yet to be utilized and it is possible to expand the current area under coffee to make a total of 500Ha with an additional 156Ha Ruiru 11 variety (resistant to fungal infections of C.B.D and leaf rust).
Any other existing tree establishment and natural vegetation are being retained to encourage biodiversity which is also a strong coffee marketing tool under the concept of sustainability. Other than being environmentally friendly the afforestation project could be a source of timber for use within the estate or earn income through controlled harvest.
The focus of Nyeri Hill Farm has always been the production of high-quality coffee while promoting sustainability. Nyeri Hill Farm coffee is top-quality coffee from the slopes of the central highlands in the heartland of the coffee growing area in Kenya. These coffees are known in Kenya as ‘NYERI’ origins. The estate is a late crop farm and the coffee grown includes SL 28 - 72.77%, Ruiru 11 - 18.57%, and SL34 - 9.27%. Flowering for the main crop is between March and May with the harvest period between October and January. This crop is sold between March and April. Flowering for the fly crop is between September and November with the harvest period between May and September. This crop is sold between July and August.
Clean and vibrant, medium body, passionfruit sweetness and acidity, positive sandalwood notes, and vanilla.