A refreshing Kenyan coffee with ripe red fruit and purple berry flavours 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 fertilisers, 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 organised 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 organised 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.
Warenew 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.
The mill manager is making sure that everyone who is working at the mill are following their strict hygienic codes. Prior to processing the coffee, they control that the farmers have sorted out the unripe and over ripe coffee cherries before they deliver only ripe cherries to the cherry hopper. During drying the parchment coffee is also sorted and defect beans are removed by hand. With attention to all these important details, the Warenew group is already able to produce a good amount of high quality coffee.
The farms are located all around Embu, in altitudes ranging from 1300 – 1800 meters above sea level. The members / farmers are mainly growing the SL28 cultivar that is famous for its fruity high quality cup profile, yet some of the farms located in the lower parts are still growing the Ruiru 11 hybrid.
We believe that because there is a mix of both SL28 and Ruiru 11 from low and high altitudes, the profile of this coffee is a bit different than what you might be used to from Kenya. It is both fruity and slight herbal with an intense body and vanilla like finish. The acidity is more tamed compared to some of the coffees we buy from Nyeri and that are grown in higher altitudes.
We hope to be able to separate coffee from the highest elevations in the coming years to see if the quality could improve even further. In order for that to happen, Warenew will most likely need more milling and drying capacity by building more wet mills in different areas. Let’s hope that more farmers will join their «coffee revolution» and that Warenew will be able to prosper and change the way coffee is grown in Kenya for the better.