Red Bay Coffee Anniversary Tin Can
In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we wanted to share a coffee with a combination of some of our favorite attributes; fruity, lightly floral, juicy yet delicate and sweet. We sought the berry fruit sweetness from the naturally processed Kenya, complemented with the lightly floral and nutty Guatemalan. Individually each is a great example of the unique qualities the terroir and varieties have to offer. Here’s to a decade of collaboration with dedicated partners, delicious coffee, and bonds that keep our communities thriving.
Region: Narok County
Farm/Producers: Mara Estate
Elevation: 1600-1800 masl
Process: Cherry fermented natural
“Western” Kenya is often used as a catch-all for any coffees grown west of Nairobi. There is a vast diversity of terrain, however, in Kenya’s western counties. This particular lot, from Narok County in Kenya’s extreme southwest, is produced on a high-elevation plateau only a few kilometers from the Masai Mara, Kenya’s most famous big game preserve and safari destination. Narok County runs along Kenya’s southern border with Tanzania, whereupon the Masai Mara turns into the enormous Serengeti National Park.
Mara Estate is very young, established only in 2019. The farm is planted entirely with Batian, a government-developed cultivar bred for a combination of disease resistance and quality that, while widespread, is rarely grown on its own. Mara is a large estate, with minimal shade, planted near the town of Lolgorien, and harvested during Kenya’s fly crop months of May, June, and July. So far, the farm is processing almost entirely naturals, which are barrel-fermented for 4 days before drying on raised beds, to allow the fruit to sweeten and partially ferment before drying.
Coffee’s history in Kenya is short compared to Ethiopia, its neighbor to the north, with the introduction of coffee occurring around the turn of the 19th century at the hand of British missionaries who brought bourbon-lineage coffee trees from Brazil. As the value of the cash crop grew in the European marketplace, the British settlers forced indigenous Africans out of the trade by outlawing coffee production outside their colonial estate network. It wouldn’t be until the years of conflict prior to Kenya's independence, from 1952-1960, that indigenous Africans would be permitted to plant coffee although for years afterward plantings were severely limited and none of the coffees produced by smallholders were permitted to be consumed. Since independence, the large estate holdings have evolved to reflect Kenya’s modern demographic: ownership can be single families, corporations, or groups of shareholders. Mara’s location in Narok makes it a uniquely large employer for surrounding families. Narok does have smallholder coffee, and many consider it to have ideal conditions for producing high quality, because of the elevation, its relative flatness, and dry climate.
Region: Huehuetenango and Laguna De Ayarza
Farm: Various small shareholders associated with Onyx Green Coffee
Elevation :1500 masl
Cultivar: Caturra, Bourbon
Edwin Martinez, founder and owner of Onyx Green Coffee, is a third-generation coffee farmer and exporter. Getting his start by importing his family's coffee, Martinez says “Onyx Coffee exists to develop strong, sustainable and equitable supply chains, from seed to cup.” Investing in enduring relationships, improving market access, and building sustainable solutions for smallholder producers in remote regions of Guatemala. Their mission is to connect these beautiful families and their coffees with roasters around the world. Through their QC lab in Guatemala City, Onyx Green Coffee is expanding their reach. Diversifying their sourcing and investing in long-term partnerships. In the past twenty years, Onyx Green Coffee has grown to partner with other producing families, cooperatives, and associations across Guatemala.
A sustainable sourcing approach is similar to Onyx’s strategy as farmers and sellers: everything has a home. From COE submissions to the mill-outs and last picks sold to local consolidators, there's value in people's hard work.
The intention with Alma is to offer a bright fruited coffee-- coffee with a lot of soul -- with partners from Huehue to Jalapa. Alma is a blend of Bourbon and Caturra, two varieties that deliver an excellent cup quality although highly susceptible to major diseases.
For every pound of Alma sold, $0.05 goes directly to our partners at Habitat for Humanity Guatemala to support their Smokeless Stove Program. These clean stoves have impacted families for decades by increasing indoor air quality and wood-fuel efficiency, while decreasing cooking time. From the 2021 crop Alma sales alone, 42 families were able to receive a new stove. In the future, we plan to invest in home-building origin trips with volunteers from every link in the coffee value chain.
Suggested Brewing Methods: Chemex, Pour Overs
Brewing Ratio 1:17
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