Kenya Gatugi + Ichamama

$48.00 Regular price
Unit price per
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A note about your order

To ensure you're receiving the freshest coffee possible, we generally push orders placed over the weekend to the following roast week. So if you order on a Friday afternoon, your order may not be sent out until Wednesday. This also includes 5lb bags.

What we taste: Blueberry Toaster Strudel, Milk Chocolate, Cream Soda, Soft


Climate concerns in our modern world are often tethered exclusively to environmental decay. In our industry, we must zoom out and consider more nuanced factors affecting our coffee producers- namely, burgeoning development in the face of a global economy, and how adjacent industries are encroaching on the lands necessary to grow the crops we love. While Kenya is known for producing some of the world’s most impressive coffees, it is also developing rapidly; evolving consumer demands shift agricultural priorities while developers command increasingly large swaths of coffee-capable land. This is our second year partnering with Phyllis Nganga and the Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters (KCCE), who have developed a new paradigm that better serves farmers by pre-negotiating a premium cherry price. This system provides farmers with the financial motivation to continue producing specialty coffees in the face of pressures to farm cheaper commodity-grade crops, or worse, sell off their rich volcanic lands for commercial development. We are excited about this partnership, and we are nothing short of *ecstatic* about the return of one of our favorite offerings- the Kenya Gatugi.

The Gatugi contains both SL28 and SL34 varieties, which are some of the most highly regarded varieties in Africa. These plants are known for their rusticity, a quality that relates to a plant’s perennial regenerative capabilities; there are SL28 trees in many parts of Kenya that are 60-80 years old and are still productive. These plants, when grown at high altitudes in the nutrient-rich red volcanic soils of Karima Hill in Othaya, produce beans of high density that are rich in complex flavor. Painstaking attention is paid throughout processing to ensure calibrated maturation and exposure, yielding cross-crop consistency and garnering both high acclaim and high price. When roasted light, these beans yield a brew with a soft body and bright notes of familiar blueberry toaster strudel, cream soda, and milk chocolate. Get stoked on your cup of Gatugi- not only is it delicious beyond measure, but it in turn also stokes a cooperative economy that ensures the continued practice of responsible farming and promises us beans far into the future. 

Producer: Phyllis Nganga and the Kenya Cooperative Coffee Exporters

Region: Othaya, Nyeri

Process: Natural

Elevation: 1863 MSAL

Varietal: SL28, SL34
What we taste: 
Caramelized Plantain, Hibiscus Tea, Pluot Jam, Smooth

Coffee producers worldwide are adjusting their methods in many ways to address and cope with our changing climate. Many of these adjustments are most visible in how we transact, as is often the way in our global economy. Collectivization amongst producers to achieve leverage and bargaining power is the most common way that sustainable producers gain capital, allowing them the opportunity to continue farming practices that produce ecologically sound coffee of the highest grade. This capital is then most often funneled into processing infrastructure, but there are many producers subverting this norm; agroforestry, or the integration of alternative trees and shrubs into crop systems, can help to yield higher quality crops while also providing environmental, economic, and social benefits to surrounding communities. Envision coffee plants made more lush, resilient, and valuable by virtue of being grown in the shade of fruit and nut trees, the harvests of which can also be sold or consumed by the farmers themselves. 

Enter the Ichamama. Grown in the high reaches of the eastern Aberdare mountain range near the famous national park of the same name, these coffee plants thrive in a terroir made rich and resilient by strategically planted banana and macadamia nut trees. The Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society comprises a network of 925 smallholder members, each possessing an average of .5 acres of land on which they grow their coffees. Through membership in the cooperative, these smallholders have infinitely more leverage when taking their renowned coffees to market, and with these benefits comes the flexibility to engage in agroforestry as a means of diversifying and sustaining fragile local ecosystems. In his iconic tome, The One-Straw Revolution, lifelong farmer and environmentalist philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka offers a dictum that inspires us at Captain + Stoker - “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” Get stoked on your cup of Ichamama- enjoy complex notes of pluot jam, caramelized plantain, and hibiscus tea with a smooth, clean body with the understanding that you’re showing support for collectivization and environmental resiliency in every sip. 

Producer: Ichamama Coffee Factory and the Othaya Farmers Cooperative Society

Region: Othaya, Nyeri

Process: Washed

Elevation: 1790-1847 MSAL

Varietal: SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, Batian