Beginning with the 2013 Kenyan harvest, our exporting partners began to separate specific single farmer lots for export to quality focused and farmer focused roasters like ourselves. We’ve been hoping to see this kind of lot separation in Kenya for years, and we’re super excited to be able to finally develop long-term relationships with specific farmers.
This is our second year working with Mr. Kithinji Kabiru and his farm, Mbeguka. In 1983, he began growing the much-loved SL28 varietal on nearly his entire 17 acre farm. Plants are supported by natural manure fertilizer and hand weeding throughout the growing season. As cherries ripen during the harvest, Kithinji picks coffee in 6 to 7 rounds, selecting only perfectly mature fruit. After being collected, cherries are depulped, dry fermented for 24 hours, soaked for another 24 hours and finally dried on raised beds. Mbeguka yielded roughly sixty-five bags of green coffee last year.
There are a number of medium sized farmers, like Kithinji, in this part of Embu as well as neighboring Kirinyaga. We’re honored to be working directly with these producers as it allows us see how farms are managed and help farmers improve existing production methods. It’s also wonderful to be able to get to know producers on a personal level. We can’t wait for our next trip back to spend time with Kithinji and his farm. Purchase
Outstanding in-season Ethiopian coffees are just starting to roll into the roastery. Our first lot is from the Idido Cooperative, who we’ve been working with for the last four seasons, importing coffees directly through our importing cooperative, Cooperative Coffees.
Named for the village located just a few kilometers from the cooperative, Idido was established in the late 1970’s and joined the ranks of Yirgacheffe Farmer’s Union in 2002. The cooperative has roughly 1,000 active members who cultivate farms averaging 1.5 hectares. There has been somewhat of a privately funded land grab for coffee in this area in recent years, but we’re proud to be working with a cooperative of growers that’s democratically governed and managed.
The specific origin of this lot has a high concentration of the Kudhume varietal, which is known for its small size and exceptional complexity of flavors. Our initial roasts of this season’s lot are producing notes of spring flowers, red cherry, and lemon zest. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.
We visited Idido this past fall and will be heading back again this year to deepen our relationship with the farmers and explore sourcing coffee from one of the cooperative’s two new washing stations in the area.
Our 2013 roast of Idido was named one of the top 15 coffees of the year by Coffee Review and our 2014 roast was recognized nationally by the Good Food Awards in San Francisco. Needless to say, we’re excited for the 2015 harvest. Purchase