African & Arabian Coffees
Ethiopia Kaffa Forest Estate Organic PDF Print E-mail

Ethiopia Limu Kaffa Forest Estate, Organic & Rain Forest Alliance Certified

Ethiopia Kaffa

 

The Kaffa region of Ethiopia is where coffee was thought to be first discovered in the early 17th century. Legend has it that a goat herder named Kaldi noticed that when his flock nibbled on the bright red berries of a certain bush they became more energetic. His exhilaration prompted him to bring the berries to an Islamic monk in a nearby monastery, but the monk disapproved of their use and threw them into a fire, from which an enticing aroma billowed. The roasted beans were quickly raked from the embers, ground up, and dissolved in hot water, yielding the world's first cup of coffee. Potentially all coffee that is grown in world today are descendents of the coffee from this region, and Mean Cat coffee is proud to offer this coffee from the Motherland

This family owned coffee estate is nestled in the highland forests of Kaffa, 475 kilometers southwest of Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa. These tropical forests, while providing sanctuary to a diversity of wildlife, bird-life, flaura, and fauna, offer the ideal micro-climate for growing coffee. At an average elevation of 5,800 feet above sea level, our coffee trees are lovingly nurtured by cool morning mists and a lush tropical canopy that provides protective shade from the midday sun, enriches the soil with organic nutrients while preserving its moisture. It is no wonder that the coffee Arabica tree first sprouted from these same soils where it has continued to thrive for hundreds of years.

This Ethiopian coffee is certified organic and Rain Forest Alliance certified. It's a light cup, perfect for those who prefer a milder coffee. The acidity is sparkling but not edgy or over bright like some washed Ethiopian coffees. The cup has notes of tart fruit like a grapefruit with a lovely caramel sweetness. A lingering sweet grapefruit finish is coupled with flavors of Coriander and apricot. Very nice coffee that you could drink all day.

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Rwanda Coko Coop PDF Print E-mail

Rwanda Coko Coop

Coffee sorting at the Coko Coop

Coko is a small cooperative in an area between two much larger and well-known coffee mills: Musasa and Rushashi. They are definitely a very organized and motivated group, with plans to expand their production greatly. Gladly, they seemed to understand that there is no sense to grow bigger if their level of quality drops, because they are blessed with some pretty amazing circumstances. The washing station is set at 2000 meters, with coffee coming from around 1800 up to 2100 meters in the surrounding area. They are using a Colombian machine-washer rather than traditional fermentation and getting great results in terms of cup quality. This processing allowed them to start an independent cooperative on a site with little water resources, as a traditional fermentation mill would require.

 

Coko is a beautiful cup that highlights the best attributes found in Rwanda coffees. The dry fragrance is floral with citric mandarin orange brightness. The floral and citrus show more of a lemon verbena scent on the wet aroma, with clove, vanilla. orange, and milk choc  with just a bit of roasty caramelization with the cocoa. The warm cup has a defined clove finish that's a much stronger floral clove as cools. With some melon and floral notes, but with a sweet cherry note right in the center. The body and mouthfeel are clear yet creamy which matches and supports the melon flavors really well. The cool cup shows a bit of roast in the finish with some cocoa which makes it a pleasant roastiness.

 

( $7 ½ lb., $14 lb.)

 

Product
hlf_rwa_coko
1/2 lb. Rwanda Coko Coop
Price/Unit
7.00 USD
Qty
Product
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Pound Rwanda Coko Coop
Price/Unit
14.00 USD
Qty

 
Tanzania Blackburn Estate PDF Print E-mail

Tanzania Blackburn Estate, Pick of the Harvest

Tanzania Coffee Farm

 

Michael Gehrken is an unlikely coffee farmer. Born in Germany, he originally wanted to be an artist, trained as an economist (at his father’s insistence), and worked as an art dealer. He fell in love with East Africa when he first visited in 1971, aged 19, and in 1983 moved to Tanzania for good to turn around his father’s neglected estate. Back then Blackburn’s coffee trees were entirely overgrown and a troop of baboons had moved into the main house! He had no farming experience, no Swahili and shakey English: “I didn’t know the difference between wheat and barley, or coffee and tea.”

However, at Blackburn, Michael has made both a science and an art of coffee farming. His attention to detail is remarkable – he has painstaking records of every piece of data you could wish for; he uses cutting edge GPS technology to map each lot; he zealously micromanages every stage of production; he has an economist’s understanding of market forces. And at the same time, he has created and nurtured an incredibly beautiful, pesticide-free environment where nature happily exists alongside agriculture – what Michael calls a “green corridor” between the exposed brown earth of neighbouring farms. Michael Gehrken

Blackburn is now one of the local area’s main employers, with around 80 permanent workers - swelling to up to 150 at peak harvest time - and four highly trained local foremen. Along with other partners, Blackburn has funded health and education projects in the local village of Mangola Juu. Rather than paying its pickers per the bucket, Blackburn offers a decent fixed daily salary, and limits its pickers to three 20L buckets a day. This ensures that the harvest is meticulous – only red cherries are selected – and pickers are not over-worked.

Blackburn is insecticide free – in other words, very close to producing fully organic coffee – and 80% of its land is reserved for nature. The estate lies along the southern border of the Ngorongoro Crater, a haven for wildlife and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Animals are entirely free to wander beyond the unfenced park boundaries – lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and many other species roam through the coffee and forest areas of the farm at night. There are also two large troops of baboons numbering more than 100 individuals that occasionally roost overnight in the large mature trees at the north-west boundary of the coffee area, though efforts are always made to discourage these animals as they eat the coffee!

This is Blackburn Estate's highest quality lot produced this year, hence the tag "Pick of the Harvest". Blackburn Estate has always been one of my most favorite coffees, and this year's crop is the best I've had in a long while. The acidity has a green apple tartness with hints of grape. The wet aroma of the grounds holds scents of molasses, grape, and raisin. The cup has a slightly spicy edge that reminds me of cinnamon with very nice chocolate and caramel and molasses notes. Sometimes, depending on how the coffee is brewed, it has an almost caramel apple-like finish. Takes cream nicely.

 


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African & Arabian Coffees (All) PDF Print E-mail

African & Arabian Coffees

Congo Sopacdi Cooperative, Fair Trade Organic

Congo Coffee

 

We are over 5600 farmers from different ethnic groups in the Kivu Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, producing some of the finest coffee in Africa. After years of conflict and civil war, our Fairtrade-certified coffee promotes working together for a better future.

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Kenya Nyeri AA Kieni

Kenya Coffee

 

Nyeri County is located in central Kenya on the flank of Mt Kenya. Coffee is this region is grown on the high plateaus where the acidic soil, optimal temperatures, and just the right amount of sunlight and rainfall provide excellent conditions for growing coffee plants. Kenyan coffee is known for its intense flavor, full body, and pleasant aroma with notes of cocoa, and this makes it one of the most sought after coffees in the world.

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Tanzania Kilimanjaro Plantation Peaberry

Mt Kilimanjaro

 

Kilimanjaro Plantation is located on the fertile savannahs in the shadow of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This area offers excellent conditions for growing coffee including highly fertile rich, red volcanic soil, a moderate tropical highland climate, gentle mountain slopes, access to a great number of sources and springs and a mild mountain climate due to the vicinity of Kilimanjaro.

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Yemen Mokha Harazi

Coffee Drying

 

Yemen has a long history with coffee. Although the coffee plant was thought to first be discovered in Ethiopia, Yemen was the first country that commercially grew and exported coffee through their port city of Al Mahka (Mokha). The term Mokha (also spelled Mokka, Moca, Mokkha, etc) has come to mean different things in the terms of coffee, but it originally referred to this port in Yemen.

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