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Kenya

Charles Mangua

Soft and sweet blueberry jam

The natural process results in a clean and soft take on the Kenyan profile, the typical blackcurrant notes softened into a sweet and rich blueberry jam.

Charles is part of the MECOP and Hands On Coffee projects, encouraging farmers to produce differentiated coffees and shorten their value chain.

  • Producer
    Charles Mangua
  • Coffee expression
    A fruity & rich coffee
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Regular price
$24.00

incl. vat/tax

Sale price
$24.00

incl. vat/tax

Regular price
$24.00
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Charles Mangua previously worked in the town of Nyeri, but has now committed himself fully to coffee.

Nyeri

Charles Mangua

Charles Mangua produces coffee on a small farm near the town of Nyeri. Nyeri is the capital of the Nyeri region, acting as an important centre for coffee production in the wider Mount Kenya region. Previously Charles had an administrative job in the coffee industry in town, splitting his time between this and the land he inherited from his father in the early 1980’s. His aim has always been to produce quality, tending to his land with intent and care, particularly to his coffee plants. However, it was a meeting with David Maguta that convinced Charles to devote himself fully to coffee. David runs the MECOP association, a group of producers aiming to break free of Kenya’s cooperative system, and take back a degree of control over their supply chain. David is an ambitious young coffee producer, working with a very genuine aim to empower farmers forced to work in a system that makes it very difficult to differentiate and add value. Until the recent market price increases, many Kenyan farmers were losing money with each harvest season, searching for ways to reduce their cost of production. Many removed SL28 trees and planted Ruiru and Batian, varietals that yield more fruit more consistently, and require far less chemical inputs to do so. This is one of many hypotheses behind the perceived declining quality in Kenya. David’s work aims to empower these farmers, differentiating themselves through processing their own coffee, and taking back control of their value chain. He has also co-founded the ‘Hands On Coffee’ project together with our partners from Belco, encouraging natural processing in Kenya as a further point of difference.

This lot is part of this project, a natural lot grown and processed on Charles Mangua’s farm near Nyeri. This results in a clean and soft take on the Kenyan profile, the typical blackcurrant notes softened into a sweet and rich blueberry jam.

A natural lot grown and processed by Charles Mangua, a member of the MECOP association, on his farm near Nyeri

Kenya

The MECOP Association

Due to the dominance of the washed process in Kenya, and the many floating, sorting and soaking steps, the water usage here is incredibly high, much higher per kilo of coffee produced than any other country we buy coffee from. Cooperatives often have affiliations with large fertiliser companies, giving members subsidised and direct access to chemical fertilisers and pesticides, meaning these are used extensively across the Kenyan coffee lands. The auction system, where the largest ‘AA’ bean size lots fetch the highest prices, leads many producers to fertilise aggressively in order to increase the size of their fruit, and therefore increase their income. All of this leads to a great deal of contaminated waste water from processing, and runoff of fertiliser from farmlands. If not dealt with carefully, this can be catastrophic for vital Kenyan groundwater supplies. This is part of what the MECOP and Hands On Coffee projects aim to change. They work with individual producers rather than on a cooperative level, meaning less influence from large fertiliser companies, and more traceability. They are championing the natural process, both with a view to save water, and as a method of increasing quality. Producing natural coffees in Kenya also creates a point of difference in a washed coffee dominated market, which in theory leads to higher prices, transferred more directly through the value chain and back to small farmers.

The Hands On project has implemented protocols for drying both for washed and natural lots, financed expanded drying beds, plastic protection from rains and high sun, and moisture meters for consistency. The importance of ventilation and temperature control during drying was emphasised using this new equipment, leading to more consistently and evenly dried coffees. This is a huge factor in processing quality natural coffees, alongside a constant need for sorting and harvesting consistently ripe fruit.

Technical Data

  • Producer

    Charles Mangua
  • Region

    Nyeri
  • Altitude

    1800 masl
  • Varietal

    SL28, Ruiru 11, Batian
  • Process

    Natural
  • Harvest

    December 2021

Natural Process

The natural, or dry process, is the traditional process, going back generations. When accomplished in a controlled and careful manner, dry processed coffees can produce flavour experiences not found in wet processed coffees, deep fruits and florals, normally with heavier mouthfeel and lower acidity. The cherries are first sorted, and then laid out on in thin layers (2-6 cm) on raised drying beds. These are almost always used for high quality naturals, as they aid airflow around the coffee as it dries, enabling more even drying. 

It is very important that coffees are sorted very carefully early on in the drying process, as all of the cherries quickly turn dark brown, making it impossible to separate under and overripe cherries. The cherries are turned frequently to avoid mold formation or over-fermentation, until they reach a moisture content of below 20%, and the outer cherry layer shrinks and blackens. This process takes between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on weather conditions.


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Sun: 09:00 - 17:00

Borggade 4F

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

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Mon - Sat: 07:00 - 18:00

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152 2nd Ave

New York

United States

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Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 18:00

813 Charoen Krung Rd, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong

Bangkok 10100

Thailand

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Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 18:00

1F, House of Wisdom, Al Juraina 1

Sharjah

United Arab Emirates

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Sun - Thu: 09:00 - 23:00

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Roastery

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Have a question?

Please write us in the chat.

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark