Kenya Gachatha Box Set
Gachatha Farmer Cooperative is made up of about 1150 farmers. Jane Nyawira has managed the wet mill (factory) for over 12 years now. This is rare to see such a long career as a mill manager and shows that dedication and consistency always help provide a great cup. Located 100 miles north of Nairobi, the cooperative is in the famous coffee growing region of Nyeri. Utilizing the elevation of the Aberdare mountains and water from the Kangunu river, this station has consistently produced incredibly sweet, complex bright coffees and we are continually trying to bring these coffees in.
In Kenya, once a coffee has been processed, dried and then milled, it goes to a sorter to separate the beans by several characteristics but mainly by size. The coffee goes into a machine that vibrates and sends beans through different screens with certain sized holes. These screens sort the coffee based on size and density. This results in a more consistent coffee & cup profile. The coffees are then auctioned off based on the grade it receives.
AA (screen size 17 & 18) The largest and most celebrated grade of Kenya coffee. It’s usually the highest priced coffee on the auction from each outturn and factory. This is the most popular grade we buy and what we usually expect from an outstanding Kenya cup.
Cup: Sugar Cane, Raspberry, Sparkling Grape, Silky & Juicy
AB (screen size 15 & 16) Represents about 30% of Kenya production. While AB is usually considered lower quality than AA we find that to not be accurate in the cup. Through the years of cupping Kenya coffees, we have consistently found incredible ABs that actually cup better than their more prestigious AA brothers. This reinforces the idea that everything must be cupped and not have a value determined based on classification or reputation.
Cup: Lime, Panela, Apricot, Dry White Wine
PB (Peaberry) Represents about 10% of Kenya production. Peaberries are a result of a coffee cherry producing only one bean instead of two. Technically, the two are fused together during early stages and form one round bean instead of two half spheres. We tend to notice more fermentation tasting notes here. This is a great example of why coffees are seperated. Honestly, this is a coffee we would not have contracted had we not wanted to showcase the boxset.
Cup: Blackberry, Tomato, Syrupy, Spicy & Winey
Kenya Gachatha OT-21 AA, AB, & Peaberry
Dormans Coffee group represented us at this year's auction in Nairobi. We paid the following per pound for each of the coffees in the box set. Auction prices were quite high this year, and we were extremely excited to win these three lots. You also might have seen we offered Outturn 19 from Gachatha as well.
-Gachatha Outturn 21 AA $7.32
-Gachatha Outturn 21 AB $6.32
-Gachatha Outturn 21 PB $6.32
You can read more about the Nairobi Coffee Exchange here: http://nairobicoffeeexchange.co.ke/
While in Nairobi we happened to run into our friend Joe (Cafe Imports Australia), and he was generous enough to help us import this into the United States. Cafe Imports saved us a lot of paperwork, time and stress by throwing our coffee on containers they already had coming to the US. Tip your cup to them as well when you're sipping these beauties.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.43/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.63/lb when we purchased this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
- We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
- We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
- We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
- We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
- We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
- We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.
- We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
- We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.