Upgrade your coffee. Empower women.
- Kahawa 1893 (Kahawa) celebrates the traditions of Kenya’s distinctive coffee while building a better supply chain to invigorate producer income as well as economic and social sustainability. The company has committed 25% of its profits to support women involved in the production of its specialty coffee.
- Kahawa 1893 RegionsKenya, the most admired contemporary coffee origin, according to Coffee Review, makes up less than 1% of the global market for coffee and receives the highest premiums of any country. Among the unique attributes of Kenya’s production is the ability to cultivate unique varieties: SL28 and SL34. While these have lower yields and are expensive to grow, these varieties benefit from the country’s combination of growing conditions—elevation, volcanic soil, rainfall and microclimates along the equator. Kenya’s “double fermentation” method produces a crisp coffee with complex natural berry and citrus flavors and juicy acidity.
- The Mt. Kenya Region is located along the slopes of Mount Kenya, the country’s namesake. The region produces some of the most celebrated Kenyan coffee and, with processing advancements, has established a reputation for outstanding single origin coffees.
- Western Kenya is newer to the specialty market and as a source for single origin coffees. Kahawa sources in Bungoma county, which constructed its own mill to facilitate direct trade thereby bypassing the auction process. Such efforts are widely supported by local government, which aim for better prices for producers via direct trade. Kahawa also sources from a smaller area in Kisii County, producer of a unique variety, Jamaican Blue Mountain, which performed well in last year’s sales.
- Bext360 ServicesIn partnership with Kahawa, Bext360’s SaaS (Software as a Service) platform will track origin and other supply chain nodes in addition to sustainability data for cherries and green coffee. Specifically, Bext260 will provide the following for coffee produced in Kisii County by Kahawa 1893 producers and cooperative members:
- Structure and track data related to origin and other processing details for coffee cherries through green coffee; record sustainability data for each lot tracked through the blockchain using metrics tailored to Kahawa’s priorities and initiatives; store all data inputs on the Bext360 blockchain; structure digital payment system to enable premium payments for women producers participating credit groups; and make data available to roasters and retailers detailing origin and sustainability impact.
- 2017 Product PerformanceThe coffee harvested in 2017 and delivered by Kahawa 1893 was well received. Scoring samples at 88+ and 91+, buyers were excited about the direct exchange with producers, quality and production diversity beyond the Mt. Kenya growing region. Notably, buyers struggle to establish direct connection to the farmers as 95% of Kenyan coffee is sold through the auction, which adversely impacts producers.
- Kahawa 1893 FounderMargaret Nyamumbo, the founder, is based in Berkeley, California, and hails from Kenya’s western highlands where she was raised in a coffee growing family. Prior to her work in coffee, Nyamumbo worked with the World Bank Group in Washington, DC, and in finance with CitiBank. She earned her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.