Our Kenyan travel journal
Last December we returned to Kenya to work alongside our partners, and to develop the new and exclusive lots we are offering this harvest. Over the many years spent at origin, we have been building on our experiences and knowledge to create some of our special preparation processing.
Our first stop on the trip was Nyeri, which is located just between Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Ranges. It is here in Nyeri where we resumed our ongoing partnership with KCCE (Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters), which was founded in 2009 with the support of the government in response to the needs of the Kenyan coffee producers. Their aim is to empower the producers and enable more self regulation, especially over the trading of their coffee to combat the ever changing external markets. And because of their continuous efforts and the work they are doing, we at Mare Terra are more than excited to continue this collaboration.
Up until now we had previously done all of our processing and experiments on site at the small farms and for the first time this year, we were able to utilize the new washing stations or factories (as they are known locally) that the cooperatives of the KCCE built. In two of these factories, we oversaw our special preparation of anaerobic fermentation and the “sleeping bag” drying technique. Having been tried, tested and perfected in the previous years leading up to this point, this year’s efforts have really produced some outstanding results! With such consistent and clean coffees, the producers are very enthusiastic to have found a new niche in the market for their coffees.
With our success at the factories in Nyeri realized, we continued onwards to the regions of Kiambu, Machakos and Murang’a. Our next stop, where many of our producing partners and old friends reside, was just outside the town of Gitwe. Here one finds Paul Karani, the producer of the Al Minar lots, Moses Kamura, from Gifted farm and our Regulus lots, as well as James Kamuri, from Fram farm, and Manasse Kibochi from Spikes farm. Building on where we left off the previous year, we used this time together to organize, discuss, and go through the R&D processes and techniques. The results we obtained from these lots never cease to amaze us, the coffee is very well balanced and has very distinct profiles that includes notes of honey, violets, orange and red wine. And as always, our time together was a great opportunity to continue to share knowledge and learn from one another.
Machako would be our next stop, where our R&D team trained George Muias and his staff, the owner of Oldonyo Sabuk farm. Led by Anthony Mutiso, this new farm is equipped with highly advanced technologies and irrigation systems. Here, we focused on developing natural and honey lots, and took advantage of the region’s high altitude and the potential that comes with that. This is definitely a region where Mare Terra will continue to commit future efforts and collaborations to.
Finally in Kiambu, we worked with Edwin and Mary, the producers of our aerobic natural lot, Al Jabban AGA. It was initially a meeting by chance, as we were visiting their neighbour and one of our already existing partners Mercy Murathe, from Ibutiti farm. We were immediately impressed with their coffees and passion for quality, which carries over from their farm to their coffee shop in Nairobi where they are roasting their own lots. A real bean bean to cup experience at origin!
And that was our Kenyan adventure for this harvest. Unfortunately due to the great distances of this amazing country, it was not possible to visit the region of Kericho and Nandi Hills, where Rosebella the owner of Chepsangor farm resides. Nevertheless, She still managed to implement the first set of experiments the R&D team had laid out. Rosebella had traveled to Machakos where she participated in training programs and discussions with the Oldonyo team. And as fate would have it, our paths crossed with Rosebella in Milan at the WOC last June and we witnessed first hand the work behind her coffees. She is a strong, brave and joyous woman, whom we hope to see again soon.
We will keep you posted on our next movements at origin, meanwhile take a look at our Kenyan lots here and get in contact with us for any more information you’d like to know
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