October Box #0010 // Keen Coffee & Bell Lane Coffee
Keen Coffee // El Salvador - Los Pirineos
Pacamara Black Honey
Lot Number: LP18-56
Processing: Pulped with 100% of mucilage remaining. Dried on shade beds. Coffee is moved 4 times a day from the first day on the beds Covered at night with total time 20 days drying.
Cup Profile: Sweet fig & plum, sticky caramel, hops and buttery body
Los Pirineos Coffee farm has been in the Baraona Family from more than 120 years, since 1880.
Gilberto Baraona is a 15 times winner of Cup of Excellence in El Salvador, 6 of which were in the top ten. The Farm is located at the top of the Tecapa Volcano, in the Tecapa Chinameca Coffee Region. The farm has been the experimental ground for several new varietal projects, such as the Central America F1 variety. Currently Los Pirineos is starting to grow more than 10 new varietals that will start producing in 2017. New varietals include Orange Pacamara, Geisha, Bourbon Elite, Bourbon Laurina, Javas, and Kenya. For the lowers altitudes below 1200 meters varietals such as Castillo Naranjal, Costa Rica 95, Lempira, Obata, and Casiopea. Gilberto has a seed garden of 69 varieties and is also now becoming a verified seed distributor of Pacamara, Tekisic & Catisic for World Coffee Research.
The farm and Mill have 50 full time employees taking on a further 75 during the peak of the harvest. Gilberto’s obsession with quality means he pays well above the legal minimum wages to all his staff. He requires far more precision and attention to detail than the average coffee farm and so must invest time and money in the people who manage the processing. Due to the training and support he offers even his temporary staff are consistent from year to year.
Gilberto’s dedication to quality is uncompromising. He has the largest coffee seed bank in private hands in El Salvador and is constantly testing and exploring new options for unique cup character. It is with great excitement that we are working with him and hope to extend our offering from his farms in the coming years. There is real precision to the work on the farm when drying the honey and natural coffees with a team of people constantly turning the coffee to ensure the most uniform drying. Some of the coffee will be sun dried where as all black honey coffee will be shade dried on 128 small individual beds.
Bell Lane Coffee // Honduras - Octotepque
Altitude: 1520 masl
Variety: Pacas, Catuai
Tasting Notes: Buttery Mouthfeel, green apple acidity with a vanilla and strawberry finish.
AMPROCAL is an all-female cooperative based in the San Marcos region of Western Honduras. It was established in 2007 by a group of 8 women producers to strengthen the presence of all female producers in the area, they now have 86 members.
The farmers are provided support from an agronomist to improve productivity and sustainability of
their farms. There is also a focus on environmental conservation with pulp and honey water being
turned into organic fertilizer which they are taught correctly to prepare and apply to the land.
Amprocal is part of the IWCA The International Women’s Coffee Alliance, whose mission is to
empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives;
and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry.
The Amprocal offices itself is powered by the waste waters from coffee biogas, making it carbon
neutral. Amprocal contributes to teachers’ salaries, provides supplies to schools in the area, it
supports local communities with sports programs via uniforms and money to build fields. These
activities help the local communities to grow and give children the chance to learn about teamwork
This is our first directly traded coffee for Bell lane Coffee, the coffee is Fairtrade & Organic certified.
Stephen and Niko visited the farm in March 2019. This is the first exciting relationship and one they plan to grow over the coming years.
Bell Lane Coffee // Kenya - Murang'a'
County: Mathioya District
Farm: Various smallholder members of the New Kiriti Farmers Cooperative Society
Variety: SL-28, SL-34,Ruiru 11, Batian
Altitude: 1900 masl
Just out side the town of Ther'i is the Coffee Factory of the same name. It services 710 members of the New Murarandia F.C.S that reside in the area. The smallholders who deliver cherry here own on average around 130 coffee trees, and grow a mix of SL-28 and SL-34, as well as small amounts of Riuru 11 and Batian. The Thumara River provides all water for processing at Ther'i. As this river is also a source of drinking water the factory takes every step to ensure all water is cleaned before re-entering the water table. Two soaking pits are used to remove processing impurities from the water and prevent any contamination of fresh water on the factory site.
Keen Coffee // Colombia - La Conchita
Great depth. Tasting notes of wild forest berries, candy, and nutmeg. Sweet. Tea like mouthfeel.Origin: Juan David Cardona
Process: Fully Washed
Finca La Conchita
Antioquia is typically known for large coffee estates serving the commercial grade market, and this is still much the case. However, things might be changing as the younger generation is beginning to take over the production. Juan David Cardona is one of the producers we are working with in Antioquia. Together with a group of other young producers, they have formed a group, lead by Juan Saldarriaga and supported by Nordic Approach, that are looking at coffee production in this region with a new perspective.
Juan David Cardona’s farm is 20 hectares in total, but only 3 hectares are with coffee. All trees are new and were planted in 2011. The first trees he planted was Caturra and Colombia, but the plan is to grow Tabi as well.
The equipment at the farm is old and worn down, and not very reliable. The pulping and drying for the higher quality lots is therefore done at Juan Saldarriaga’s facility, but Juan David is investing in new equipment and upgrading his beneficio so that he will be able to process all of his coffee at his own facility.
Bell Lane Coffee // Kenya - Thika Plateua
Sweet fruity aroma, cordial, dark purple grapes, juicy, complex tropical fruits, sugary aftertaste.
Region: Central Province, Thika Plateau
Farm: Chania Estate
Variety: French Mission
Altitude: 1500 1600 masl
Processing: Full Washed / dried on raised beds
ABOUT KENYA ORETI/CHANIA ESTATE
Boyce Harries’s family has been farming coffee in Kenya since 1904. Although the Harries family has always grown a diverse array of crops, they primarily produce coffee within two estates. After returning from college in 2004, Boyce took over his family’s estates and began overseeing the coffee harvest and processing.
Chania Estate is named after the river that runs through the area. While it was part of the original land purchase by the Harries in 1904, it was later sold to another farmer. But when that family decided to leave farming in 1926, Boyce's great grandfather repurchased the land. Oreti Estate was purchased by Boyce’s grandfather, after he returned from WWII. Oreti is named after a beach in the southern part of New Zealand, where Boyce’s grandmother is originally from.
The farms are located between 1500 - 1575 meters above sea level. They grow French Mission Bourbon, SL 14, SL 28, SL34, K7, Ruiru 11, and Batian. They primarily produce fermented and washed coffees, but unlike most of the farms in Kenya, they also produce natural and honey processed coffees. Their main crop runs from October to December, while their early crop runs from May to June.
There are approximately 30 permanent employees that live and work on the farms. They regularly employ the same people on seasonal contracts. The return rate of workers is a good indicator of how they are treated. The fact that many workers return year after year, speaks volumes of how Boyce and his team treat the people they employ. The seasonal contract staff is anywhere between 25 and 50 depending on the seasons needs. In addition, they employ between 60-120 people for seasonal factory work in the wet mills, drying tables, etc. During the peak of harvest season they will employ as many as 250 pickers.
Boyce’s estates are active in the community and provide free housing to their permanent staff. They built a community hall with a TV for members of the small community to enjoy, and encourage their workers to send their children to the nearby schools by supporting them emotionally and financially. In addition, they support local education by donating land to build a technical school and girls school . They have recently started to donate sports equipment to local schools as part of "Support Sport Africa." They have also helped to build facilities for the Police in order to improve security and infrastructure in the area.
The workers on the farms are organized into a hierarchical structure, which allows them to have representation in order to express issues, concerns, or needs. Boyce and his family prioritize compensation and quality of life for their farm workers, which has transcended the need for unionization. Permanent staff get bonuses during the course of the year, in addition to their salary. The farm also helps its workers with financial flexibility by allowing payment advanced when needed. They contribute to health insurance and social security funds for the workers, and provide transportation to medical institutions and treatment facilities. Nossa Familia Coffee has chosen to work with Boyce and his farms specifically for the reasons mentioned above, as well as their outstanding product quality.