It’s a rare treat to be able to travel to East Africa, let alone source some authentic coffee beans from this precious land. Our team traveled to Kenya and to the main local farms located 1-2 hours outside of Nairobi.
We visited the Giankanja co-op, in the Kiambu region ( just north of Nairobi) to check the crops and fermentation process of the local farms there. All of the farmers we spoke to were very excited that we came to visit and share a meal with them (yummy goat dinner). It was clearly not the norm, for them to be connecting with roasters, or importers. But, this visit only strengthened our relationship between Giankanja and Crop to Cup creating producer loyalty in a market where that doesn’t exist.
Our main goal is to find a flavor profile (particularly a fruit forward, blackberry type of profile) that our customers and employees can get excited about and look forward to tasting. After cupping through over 100 samples we have narrowed down our options to 4-5 that fit our profile , and have samples being sent our way. After a week in Nairobi, we have a much better understanding of the Kenyan coffee economy but also, we have identified certain co-ops and regions that are producing the best coffee. Over the next couple weeks, we will narrow our 4-5 samples down to 1 coffee that we will purchase.