Ethiopia Suke Quto Washed
Tesfaye Bekele has been one of our longest coffee partners since the early days of PPP Coffee. We are now entering our seventh consecutive year of bringing in the Suke Quto washed process - a coffee that has become a favourite across our cafes, and has also left a deep impression on us.
Year after year, we continue to buy from Tesfaye Bekele because of his commitment to produce high quality coffee. We look forward to receiving the fresh crop every year because they never fail to surprise us each time. Although the flavours change with every crop year, the quality remains consistently good. The Suke Quto washing station is supported by 171 outgrowers and more than 200 cherry pickers during harvesting season.
In the early days while many were invested in cattle rearing, Tesfaye invested his time and energy into coffee, and became the pioneer of specialty coffee in Guji. However, his journey to put Guji specialty coffee on the map wasn’t an easy one.
A large bushfire broke out during the late 90’s and Tesfaye wanted to make use of this opportunity to replant the forests together with coffee trees. While the community agreed to his proposal, they quickly dismissed it after finding out it will take another four to five years before the seedlings yield cherries. Tesfaye then started his own coffee nursery, and appointed his own team to overlook it. However, this was also unsuccessful as they experienced years without results. Tesfaye finally resigned from his job and became a coffee farmer. His efforts finally paid off as after the first harvest, and the community returned with full support for the coffee plantations.
Blessed with consistent rainfall and climate, a high altitude, and fertile soil, Tesfaye Bekele's farm continues to flourish as he continually makes improvements to both his perspective to farming and also incorporating new technologies.
Comprised primarily of two varietals endemic to Ethiopia, coffee cherries are stringently harvested and sorted for ripeness, and depulped before undergoing a long fermentation for up to 48 hours in concrete tanks. Coffees are then laid out to dry over the course of 12 to 16 days, regularly turned and protected in tarpaulin during the midday and during the night to ensure even and consistent drying.
Today, we can all enjoy these coffees from Suke Quto because of Tesfaye. He is definitely one of the innovative forces that has contributed to the success of Guji coffees.
Kenya Nyala Kiambu AB
Kenya has always been a powerhouse coffee origin. They hold to traditional production practices and attention to details. Kenya also has one of the most transparent and rigid buying systems in the world at the Nairobi auctions.
For Kenya, it is illegal to sell cherries to a middle man. In order to finance, educate, and provide inputs and support for producers, there are ‘market agents’ who act as representatives to the producers in the production chain. These agents double up as the dry mill partners, and take the cooperatives’ coffee through the auction system. The agents are a crucial step in connecting producers to the market. They bring the coffees to the auction, and also help to negotiate with end-buyers for a reasonable selling price.
These agents do not owe the coffees. They purely act as middlemen, and instead charge producers for the service of the dry mill and take a percentage of auction prices of the sold coffees.
Located just north of Nairobi in Kiambu County, the Nyala Estate is one of the oldest coffee farms in the country. The county experiences temperatures ranging between 12 to 18 degree Celsius, making it ideal for coffee farming.
Majority of Kenyan’s coffees are traditionally washed, or double soaked, which contributes largely to their unique characteristic - classic crisp phosphoric acidity. Cherries are first depulped after harvesting as soon as possible. They are then fermented with its mucilage in large tanks for at least 24 hours, to break down the sticky mucilage thoroughly. The cherries are then washed again to thoroughly remove the mucilage. Before being laid out to dry, they are fermented one last time for a shorter period of time.
Double soaking is very popular in Kenya, and is the core reason for enhancing both cleanness and crisp acidity in your cup. It is indeed a labour-intensive process but the efforts are paying off significantly as Kenya is producing consistently good coffees every year. These meticulous practices of Kenyan coffees are reflected in the Nyala Kiambu as we experience bright red acidity and flavour profiles.
Now that you have read about your coffees, it's time to start brewing!
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