Selecting Our Lots
Every year, we travel to Kenya twice. On the first trip, during the harvesting season, we visit our producing partners to see first-hand how the season is coming along. During the second trip, in February, we cup through tables and tables of coffees to narrow down the selection of coffees that were preselected for us. We aim at finding outstanding microlots, bursting with fruit flavours and acidity, as well as more accessible balanced profiles with predominant sweet notes.
In Kenya, we find coffees through two supply chain models. One is the traditional way, cupping and buying lots from large estates or cooperative societies through the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. The other is a more transparent and direct way, through our local partner’s “farm to roaster” sourcing model.
In this direct outreach approach, smallholder producers can sell their production independently, outside the cooperative system. They decide what they sell for what prices and when. The producers in this program also receive technical and agronomical support to improve farming and post-harvest practices. Through this direct contact, our people on the ground can more easily detect the producers with great potential for quality or with a vision for improvement towards the future.
Nyeri, Kiambu and Kirinyaga county producer groups
Some of these producers choose to form groups and sell their coffee together. New groups this year are the Mukurwe-ini producer group and Ngewa Komothai. A familiar group that returns again is Slopes of 8. Alongside these groups, there are also a couple of coffees produced by single families or estates. New single estate coffees this year include Kathera and Kabimutho. We also are happy to bring back coffees from the Mwendia estate!
Thanks to its clear coffee infrastructure and easily accessible coffee producing regions, Kenya is a popular destination among coffee buyers for a coffee cupping and buying trip. It is a great experience to cup through entire catalogs and witness buying your favourite lot in the auction when possible.
At the same time, we try to find other meaningful ways to collaborate with producers through the farm to roaster model, instead of just buying the famous names in the auction. We feel that this will have a more meaningful impact on the quality of coffee we buy, and the impact that our dollars have on the ground.
Get in touch today to reserve your order!