Tag Archives: Kenya

Bean Counting: Idido Natural Sun-dried – Counter Culture

Roaster: Counter Culture
Place of Purchase: Peregrine Espresso (14th St. NW Location)
Preferred Brew Method: Paper Filter Drip (pour over)
Excerpt From Counter Culture Describing Coffee:

Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
Organic • Shade Grown
The community of Idido, just outside the town of Yirgacheffe, has once again produced the quintessential Ethiopian Natural Sundried coffee. One of the cleanest and most refined naturals we have tasted in years, Idido offers notes of strawberry, blueberry, and orange zest with a balanced, chocolate-like sweetness.

Cafe Hound Review:   Generally, Counter Culture got this one right. This coffee cups clean, though it has  enough of what I call, “berry funk” to entertain your palate. I cycled through several of the Counter Culture coffees this year, with the Central Americans admittedly disappointing after a VERY strong showing in 2009, and a decent showing in 2010. In 2010 my favorite growing region of the world ended up being Kenya, though the Cafe Hound annual blend at the end of 2009 included a fair amount of sun-dried Ethiopian coffee from the Amaro region. (washed version for sale at Novo now). Right now, this Yirgacheffe is rocking my world. I admit that as the weather cools here in the Nation’s Capital, I’m leaning towards more bold and fruity coffees – though I enjoy a clean cup so much that I rarely venture to the extremes of many Indonesian grown coffees (Sumatra). Though, it is all a matter of taste and I encourage you to post your comments letting us know what your preferences are this year! Happy Hounding!

info@cafehound.com

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Market News: Crop Fears Drive Kenyan Coffee Prices

Source: Agrimoney.com

The coffee industry has been experiencing incredible upward pressures on ‘C Grade’ prices over the past year.  The specialty coffee market is facing even more acute pressures as demand surges and supply is scarce.  Nairobi’s Coffee Exchange illustrates the scenario playing out in specialty coffee hotspots globally with the recent sale of one 340kg lot of premium AA for $1,011 per 50kg bag (approximately US$9.20/lb) in country! Applying standard export mark-up premiums to such a large purchase, assuming a US specialty coffee buyer was interested, could fetch anywhere between $30-60 a pound for this same coffee by the time it retailed in the United States.

Agrimoney Article Begins:

Could coffee become more valuable than your average base metal?

It is beginning to look that way – at least for top quality arabica beans in Kenya, where dry weather has dashed hopes of a production rise this season.

A lot of premium AA grade coffee sold at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange on Tuesday for $1,011 per 50kg bag, 40% higher than it was achieving last month.

The 340kg lot originated from a central Kenyan growers co-operative, Kiomothai, and was bought by East African specialist C Dormans, which sells to foreign markets besides running a chain of Kenyan coffee shops.

Dornams paid the equivalent of more than $20,000 tonne, making the coffee more than twice as expensive as copper, and approaching the levels that the likes of aluminium, nickel and tin trade at.

‘Outlook robust’

The price reflected the dearth of high quality beans for sale, Daniel Mbithi, a Nairobi Coffee Exchange official, said.

“There is no coffee and the market is grabbing the few available offers,” he told Reuters, the news agency, adding that “the price outlook remains robust going into the coming weeks”.

“Supplies remain tight.”

Production downgrade

Kenya, unlike some other African countries, has suffered poor coffee growing weather with unusually late and heavy rains early in 2010 damaging flowering before dry conditions later in the year damaging yields of fruit which did set.

The Kenya Coffee Board on Monday cut to 40,000 tonnes its forecast for the country’s coffee output in 2010-11, from a previous forecast of 49,000-55,000 tonnes, and leaving the crop on track to fall short of the previous season’s output of 45,000 tonnes.

The influential International Coffee Organisation last week lifted its estimate for world coffee production this season citing better weather in many major African producing nations, with the likes of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda enjoying improved conditions.

In New York, arabica futures for March delivery stood 1.0% higher at 234.60 cents a pound, equivalent to $5,172 a tonne, at 11:45 GMT


Order Now!!! Ano Novo 2010 Blend by Kris/Maher

For information and order, contact maher@cafehound.com or krislert@cafehound.com

In tribute to the new year, Cafe Hound presents to you the ANO NOVO 2010 Blend. Ano Novo means New Year in Portuguese and reflects our appreciation to Novo Coffee in Denver, Colorado, who perfectly roasted the beans for us. Concocted by Matthew Maher and Krislert Samphantharak, the blend mixes the best seasonal fair-trade and organic coffees of South America and Africa to provide a sophisticated, bright, and balanced flavor profile good for drip, press, or espresso brewing. The blend will give you a perfect beginning of 2010. All net proceeds will go to charity.

Specific coffees found in our blend include:

– Amaro Gayo Sun-Dried: Amaro, Ethiopia – Full body with a grassy overtone and nuances of strawberry, apple, chocolate and unripe banana.

San Rafael: Concordia, Colombia – This coffee has a strong acidity (tangerine nuances) followed by smooth finishing woody nuances. Very bright.  The coffee comes from the San Rafael estate of the Concordia municipality in the Department of Antioquia in Colombia. Maher has personally visited a number of coffee farms in this region of Colombia.

– Kenya Gatina: Nyeri, Kenya – A woody well balanced coffee with blueberry undertones that compliment the brighter elements of the previously mentioned coffees.  This coffee is quite different than the Ndaironi region releases that were on the market in mid-2009 and is far too berriful as a single-origin.

– Ojo de Agua: Volcan, Panama – Very balanced  mild citrus nuance with very silky finish.  Mixture of peanut and chocolaty nuances in the aftertaste.  At first appears uninteresting next to the sun-dried but in the end wins out on its “drinkability” and balanced finish. Novo has shared some additional details on the Ojo de Agua coffee from the Finca Hartmann in Panama.

“Some of the hardest-working and most environmentally committed coffee producers in the world, the three generations currently represented at Finca Hartmann all have a hand in daily operations. Much of the family’s land is primary forest and rests contiguous with the enormous Parque Nacional La Amistad, Central America’s largest national park. Despite uncountable offers to cut the forest for large monetary gain over decades, the Hartmanns remain committed to a future of coffee in balance with nature. The Hartmanns have a cupping lab on site and are leaders in coffee production for quality. Their expertise has been enjoyed beyond their own farm as they act as consultants for many Panamanian and other Latin American coffee producers.”

For ordering information please contact maher@cafehound.com . We encourage you to donate $10 for each half pound of coffee that you order (before shipping if you want it shipped).  As we manage the legal obstacles for setting up money transfers to our foundation partners in Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Nicaragua, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam – we will be giving all profit from the ANO NOVO 2010 Blend to a local food bank in Arlington, Virginia.  We will only have a limited amount of this very special blend so please place your order now, before it is too late!

Regards,

– The Hounds

Coffee entrepreneur and Maher Hound at farmer Horacio Montoya's farm Alto del Naranjo in Caldas, Colombia (2008).

Woof News: Winter 2010 Update

2010 is upon us and what began as a graduation gift idea between professor and scholar has now evolved into a means of stimulating interest in the specialty coffee industry and in its entire supply chain –

– from farm level decision makers who must decide how to react to how global climate change is impacting their growing season and yields;

– to cooperatives who must decide how to integrate IT solutions into their business processes;

– farmers who must choose between numerous certification choices;

– exporters who must decide what price is a ‘fair’ one at which to sell their prized beans;

– importers who must navigate an increasingly competitive specialty coffee market;

– specialty roasters who must communicate their value proposition to a growing market segment;

– shops trying to differentiate their brand and product from the Starbucks baseline and from other shops claiming to provide the ‘gourmet’ experience;

– to end-consumers who seek clarity and consistency of quality despite all of the contingencies that must occur before the latte art is disturbed by the first sip.

Cafehound.com was launched early this fall as an online medium for Krislert Samphantharak and Matthew Maher to communicate and share their knowledge and experience with each other more than anything else. It began as an incremental journey to explore various portions of the supply chain in detail and encourage participation and collaboration with some of the major actors in the specialty coffee industry.  Before long, Café Hound was able to secure interviews with roasters, importers, shop owners, professional baristas, farmers and people involved on the academic/research end of the soft commodities market.  Given the very positive response that the website has received and as a consequence of very promising content in the future, Café Hound has decided to begin institutionalizing some processes.

1. Custom blend releases on occasion to generate publicity and raise funds for charity

2. Regular café reviews  spanning the globe with occasional guest postings from our friends and associates abroad

3. Spotlight pieces that investigate particular segments of the supply chain with specific attention to farmers, importers and roasters.

4. Academic themed reviews of literature empirically evaluating aspects of the soft commodities market, especially coffee and specialty coffee

5. Newsletter updates

6. Creating a non-profit organization to provide a legal basis for managing funds and further enhancing our ability to provide value to entrepreneurial agricultural producers and children in the developing world.

Regards,

– The Hounds