Thunguri AA – Kenya

FLAVOR NOTES:
BLACK CURRANT, RHUBARB, BROWN SUGAR, FLORAL, JUICY MOUTHFEEL

Farm : Multiple small farms
Co-operation : Thunguri Coffee Factory
Varieties : SL28 & SL 34 (AA)

Process : Washed
Region : Kirinyaga
Altitude (masl) : 1600m
Harvest Method : Handpicking

About the Coffee Factory

Thunguri Coffee Factory was established in 1962 and rests on 8 acres of land right at the border with famous Nyeri County. The 1095 active farmers cultivate  SL 28, 34, K7 and Ruiru 11 varieties, though focusing mostly on SL 28 and 34.

The factory is aiming to increase and develop coffee production through farmer and farm manager training, Good Agricultural Practice -seminars and also by annually updated and distributed handbooks for sustainable farming. Farmers are given advances for school fees and farm inputs through pre-financing they receive.

Our sourcing partner, the Collaborative Coffee Source is working hard to establish a transparent and trust-based relationship with the smallholder farmers, helping to support a sustained industry growth in Kenya. At the same time bringing premium quality to us and premium prices to the hardworking farmers. In the last years they have had the possibility to buy coffee straight from the cooperatives instead of auctions.

This coffee is disk pulped, fermented, washed and finally dried on raised beds for 7 to 15 days. The waste water is discarded in soaking pits, and also recirculated for conservation.

Gishubi – Burundi

Photo by : Long Miles Coffee Project

FLAVOR NOTES:
PEACH, EARL GREY, GOOSEBERRY, HONEY, JUICY MOUTHFEEL

Farm : Multiple small farms
Washing Station : Heza (owned by : Long Miles Coffee Project)
Variety : Red Bourbon

Process : Red Honey
Region : Kayanza
Micro region : Gitwe Hill, Gishubi
Altitude (masl) : 1850-2057m
Harvest Method : Handpicking

Our Burundian coffee comes from an amazing farmer focused initiative called Long Miles Coffee Project. It’s processed at the Long Miles’ second washing station named Heza which means ‘beautiful place’ in Kirundi. Heza sits almost 2 kilometres above sea level and overlooks the Kibira rainforest on the border between Burundi and Rwanda. The exceptional altitudes and close proximity to rainforest bring out the best in the coffees. The individual micro-climates of each surrounding hill as well as the ideal conditions on the washing station guarantee unique notes in every cup.

Heza has a total of 2500 farmers delivering coffee and over 150 employees to produce the best quality coffee possible. One team that is responsible for cherry selection, quality monitoring, farmer reception and coffee production. And another team that consists mostly of women is devoted to extensive quality control and artisanal curation of coffee parchment.

Processing

Heza is a place of innovation. For instance they have pioneered a Sun dried Natural coffee initiative abled by the stations fantastic conditions and the amount of ripe, dense cherries brought there. They have also introduced Burundi’s first honey processed coffees.

Due to the Long Miles’ six hour pick-to-process quality timing mark coffee cherries arriving to the station get straight into processing. Cherries are washed with mineral water from two springs which channel rainforest water down the hills to the station. The unique ‘bowl’ location of the station helps the drying process since it provides natural air circulation and helps to control drying time. They also use tables that designed to range in length and level and there fore help to regulate drying times. Coffee spends around 20-30 days slow-drying on these tables to reach the optimal moisture levels. Heza also has it’s own coffee tree nursery with over 15.000 young trees. Eventually they hope to begin replacing Burundi’s war-torn landscape and invest in the future of quality coffee.

Long Miles Coffee Project

Ben and Kristy Carlson who founded the Long Miles Coffee Project are not only passionate about quality coffee but also about caring for the well-being of the farmers. Their dream was to facilitate direct relationships between roasters and farmers, and as a result better the quality of coffee and the lives of the farmers. After a while of sourcing coffee around Burundi the Carlson’s decided to build their own washing station as that seemed like the only way to gain control over the coffee quality and the processing as well as making sure the farmers get good compensation for all their hard work.

Read more about the Long Miles Coffee Project on their website!

Buena Vista – Guatemala

FLAVOR NOTES:
SWEET APPLE, MARZIPAN, MILK CHOCOLATE

Farm : Buena Vista
Owner : Luis Pedro Zelaya Aguirre
Variety : Bourbon

Process : Washed
Region : Antigua
Altitude (masl) : 1772-1900m
Harvest Method : Handpicking

Buena Vista is a reasonably big farm situated in the outskirts of the town of Antigua. It occupies some 80ha of beautiful mountain range cultivating mostly Bourbon, Caturra and Catuai varieties, but in the future there are also plans to plant Geisha. The around 250 000 trees on the farm are pruned yearly from their seventh year and replanted every 30 years. The farm is owned by Luis Pedro Zelaya Aguirre who is the patriarch of the Zelaya coffee family.

Zelaya family

Zelayas have been in the coffee business for generations and play a significant role in the coffee scene in Antigua. Luis Pedro’s son not only bears his fathers name but also carries on with his work. He is now the fourth generation of his family in the coffee business. Because of his involvement in the family business the Zelaya’s have been able to turn their focus solely on specialty coffee. The Zelaya’s own and manage several coffee farms and run a famous dry mill by the name of Bella Vista. On their mill they focus on careful and innovative processing of the delicate micro lots. Zelayas have implemented ventilated greenhouses with raised beds to ensure and better the results of coffee processing. Due to this careful and consistent work results in very personal and unique cup quality from year to year.

Zelayas don’t consider their coffee endeavours only as business. For them it’s also a form of building a basis for their family and the community for years to come. They are providing the community with jobs, education, training and knowledge and also constantly looking to improve their agricultural activities to reduce chemicals and to better the quality.