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Oreti Estate | Boyce Harries | Kenya

We Nitrogen Flush all of our coffee when bagging for an inert shelf stable environment by locking freshness inside for up to 6 weeks prior to opening


Producer: Boyce Allen Harris

Farm: Oreti Estate

Region: Thika, Kiambu County

Varietal:  SL-14, SL-28, SL-34

Process: Washed

Altitude: 1525 masl


Oreti Estate is one of the only medium - large scale family owned coffee farms in Kenya along with its larger sister farm Chania Estate. The farms are around 30 miles from the capital of Kenya - Nairobi and are situated along the Thika river in the Kiambu County. The farms have a long proud family owned history since 1926 and continues to do this very day with Boyce Allen Harries managing both estates. This lot is a separation of only the SL28 and SL34 varietals on the farm,  varietals first developed in the 1930's but generally favoured for their cup quality but less resistant to modern diseases and pests such as Coffee Berry Borer.  It is a classic washed processed lot and is a complex coffee bursting with sweetness and bright fruits.


Family History of the Farm.

Allen Charles Harries (b.1850) arrived in Kenya from South Africa in 1904. After a thorough recce of the country he established Karamaini Estate in an area that was to become Thika. It took him two days to cover the 30-mile journey from Nairobi using donkey carts and porters. His third son AldreIvan Rule Harries (Ivan; b.1881) remained in South Africa and helped support his father financially, eventually joining him in 1912. In 1926 Ivan moved to Chania Estate. This was a mixed farm on the Chania River, which held small areas of coffee. Here Ivan set about discovering what could be farmed successfully, trying his hand a cattle, sisal and pineapples, whilst slowly increasing the total area of coffee. 


Ivan’s son Peter Allen Harries (b.1921) completed his studies in New Zealand and joined his father in 1946. He and his wife Rowena (a New Zealander) bought a piece of land five miles above Chania on the same ridge running down from the Aberdare Mountains. They named this Oreti Estate (a Maori name meaning a place of danger and raw beauty) and established a mixed farm of pineapples and coffee, and later macadamia nuts. He also bought adjacent, small farms to create the Estate as it is today and in the early 1950s, based on his initials, he named his enterprise A.I.R. Harries & Son Ltd.

 When Peter died unexpectedly in 1983, his eldest child and latterly only surviving son David Hugh Allen Harries (b.1947) stepped in to continue the family legacy.


David’s nephew Boyce Marquis Allen Harries (b.1976) came to join him in 2004, living in Peter’s old home on Oreti. Following David’s retirement in 2013 Boyce took over the running of both estates, and the family business of A.I.R. Harries & Son Ltd and continues to do so to this day. 


The farms have a permanent labour force of 40 people.The majority are housed on the Estates and several are families into their second and third generation as employees. During busy periods seasonal and daily labour are enrolled as required. This can be as many as 300 people, all who live locally and many of whom are part of the extended family of permanent employees.

Harvesting of ripe coffee is performed on a task rate basis based on volume. There is a self-elected workers committee who meet monthly to raises and discuss social, welfare, safety and health matters. The farms employ a nursery school teacher, and the Social Hall at Chania, equipped with darts board and television, doubles as a nursery school during the day. More recently they built a ‘homework room’ to provide a place with electric light at night for the older children of the farms' employees.

Oreti Estate | Boyce Harries | Kenya

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