Tasting Notes: Blackberries / Vanilla
Origin: Kenya [Embu]
Cultivar: SL28 and Ruiru 11
A refreshing Kenyan coffee with ripe red fruit and purple berry flavors and a rich mouthfeel with vanilla like finish.
Warenew is a company founded by a group of farmers who decided to start working together towards a common goal of increasing their production, value and quality of their coffee. They are working in a more organic way than what is common in Kenya, using mainly manure as fertilizers, no herbicides and only copper spray for preventing leaf rust attacks. (The farms or coffee are not organic certified)
In 1993 their head agronomist , James Kariuki, started researching everything from farming practices to processing of coffee cherries to figure out how to produce coffee in the best possible way. James found that by planting the coffee trees with more distance between each tree and pruning the trees following a «single stem system» he was able to increase his coffee production by a whole lot. He also found that digging huge holes before planting the trees in the ground would enable the roots to grow freely which made the trees more healthy. By growing and adding mulch (organic material) on the soil around the trees help retain moisture and suppress weeds. These techniques have been known in Kenya for a long time but one of the challenges is to get the knowledge out to the farmers. The founders of Warenew wanted to do something about this and therefore got organized and started the Warenew group. In just a couple of years they have been able to educate hundreds of farmers who have joined what they call «the revolution» and that are now delivering coffee cherries to their community wet mill.
The group have organized teams that visit the member’s farms and help them with pruning, spraying and training.The results are quite astonishing. The farmers following this system are able to produce over 100 kg of coffee cherries per coffee tree tree per year. Considering that the average farmer in Kenya is only producing 2 kg per tree and that you would need to grow around 5 kg per tree in order to make a profit, it is for sure revolutionary. It means that a farmer could increase yields and profits without having to buy more expensive land.