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Tim Wendelboe

Your Coffee Subscription – September 2020

Dear Coffee Subscribers,

We have officially entered the fall season. This means cool mornings, dark evenings, candle lights and warm blankets, at least here in Norway. Actually the autumn months can be quite cozy, somehow it feels like everyone is slowing down and we are taking more time to care for ourselves. Whether it is with a good book, listening to music or spending more time with our hobbies it is always accompanied with a  good cup of coffee. 

This month I have picked out two coffees from Kenya just to drag out the summer season a tiny bit longer. Both coffees are produced by smallholder farmers and are processed and dried at centralized wet mills. This allows for superb screening and sorting and is one of the reasons why Kenyan coffees are so clean and consistent in quality. The third coffee we are sending out is the famous Geisha from our friends Marysabel and Moises in Honduras. This coffee is a little treat for you as a thank you for being a part of our community. We are so grateful for having all of you on board. 

Warenew 1 + bag
Flavour notes: Blackberries & vanilla
Producer: Several smallholder farmers
Harvest: December 2019
Origin: Embu, Kenya
Process: Washed
Cultivar: SL28 & Ruiru 1

Warenew is a company founded by a group of farmers that decided to start working together towards a common goal of increasing the value and quality of their coffee. They are working in a more organic way compared to the average farmers in Kenya by using mainly with manure as fertilisers. They do not use herbicides and they only apply copper spray for preventing leaf rust, which is strangely enough allowed in Organic farming in small quantities. In 1993 their leading agronomist , James Kariuki, started researching everything from farming practices to the processing of coffee cherries to figure out a better way to do things. The results are astonishing, and not only are the farmers able to produce over 100kg of coffee cherries per tree per year ( the country average being 2kg per tree) they have also built and are running the cleanest wet mill I have ever seen in Kenya and are processing their coffee with extreme care and attention. Their members / farmers are mainly growing SL28 cultivars from 1300 – 1800 meters above sea level, with only a few farms still growing Ruiru 11. It makes this coffee very fruity and clean with a powerful mouthfeel and vanilla like sweetness. Last year we were able to get a substantial amount of coffee from Warenew, but this year they struggled with heavy rains during the harvest which made the selection of great qualities a bit smaller. We did however find one lot that was tasting really sweet and clean and I am very happy that we managed to buy some coffee and support this group of farmers once again. 

Karogoto 2 + bags
Flavour notes: Rose hips, hibiscus & floral
Producer: Several smallholder farmers 
Harvest: December 2019
Origin: Nyeri, Kenya
Process: Washed
Cultivar: SL28, SL34, Batian & Ruiru 11

This is one of my favourite Kenyan coffees. The coffees from Karogoto are always super clean, floral and have an intense fruity and floral flavour. This is because most of the members / farmers are still growing the SL28 variety and have received a lot of agricultural training over the years. The climatic conditions also contributes to the coffees’ intensity with very cool nights and moderately hot days that slow down the ripening process and gives a very sweet and unique coffee. This years coffee from Karogoto is exceptionally elegant and clean with vibrant acidity and a distinct flavour profile reminiscent of rose hips and hibiscus. During my visit in December 2019, I spoke with Ephraim which is the factory / mill manager at Karogoto. He was very concerned about the heavy rains they received during the harvest which made it difficult to dry the coffees evenly. We agreed that he would put some extra attention to a few lots during the peak of the harvest in order to make sure they were able to produce a good amount of high quality coffee despite the poor weather conditions. When I came back in February to do my selections, I was very pleased to find three out-turns that tasted super sweet, clean and vibrant, so I ended up purchasing all of them. As a subscriber you are the first to be able to taste this coffee from the recent harvest.  

Caballero Geisha Honey 3 + bags
Flavour notes: Tangerine, jasmine and honey
Producer: Marysabel Caballero & Moises Herrera
Harvest: April 2019
Origin: Chinacla, La Paz, Honduras
Process: Honey
Cultivar: Geisha 

Two years ago Moises decided to do a small batch of honey processed Geisha for us. For those of you who are not familiar with this process, honey process is where the coffee cherries are de-pulped and the parchment coffee is taken directly to be dried on raised drying beds with the mucilage still on the parchment coffee. It is sort of a process in between Natural process (coffee cherries are dried with the parchment coffee inside)  and washed coffees (cherries are de-pulped and the mucilage is removed from the parchment coffee either through fermentation and washing or with a mechanical mucilage remover before it is dried.) 

Normally we are not the biggest fan of this way of processing because when it is not done with special care you tend to get a slightly more rough cup and with off-flavours from uncontrolled fermentation during drying. But when I blind tasted a test batch of honey processed Geisha among the washed processed lots while visiting in Marcala in March 2018, I was surprised to learn that it was a honey processed coffee. It was so vibrant and clean with even more intense acidity and flavours than the washed lots. The coffee was so delicious that I decided to ask Moises to make some more for us in 2019.

We have secretly kept this lot for special occasions throughout the year but I have also been waiting for a good occasion to send it out to our most loyal customers, which is our subscribers. In fact we did send this coffee out in April this year but unfortunately due to the Corona outbreak a lot of the shipments were lost in the mail in April which resulted in a lot of disappointed subscribers. Since the rest of this coffee is still tasting fabulous, we figured we would give it another try and send it out once again. Hopefully it will reach all of you this time.

Thanks for reading and as always, we hope you enjoy the coffees and learning from our monthly videos. If you need some brewing tips, visit our website.

Cheers,
Tim & Co

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