Words by: Lisa Bartlett
This month we were fortunate to have a very special guest fly across continents to come and visit little old us at the roastery. Here at Extract Coffee Roasters we put a huge emphasis on the importance of provenance. Knowing where our beans have come from, how they were grown, and learning about the people who have had an input into their journey from crop to cup is as important to us as our responsibility to creating a top-notch product.
So we were thrilled to welcome Boyce Harries, owner of the Chania Estate in Kenya, to the roastery and were blessed to be able to sit down with him, share some food, a few beers and chat candidly with him about his experiences of growing coffee in Kenya. We also had the opportunity to cup a selection of coffees from Boyce’s farm and were impressed by the cupping skills of the youngest participant – Boyce’s son!
Boyce is an old friend of Extract’s. As well as buying coffee from him, Directors David and Lee, took a trip out to Kenya last year to visit him on the farm and witness first-hand the outstanding work that he and all of his employees do.
Boyce was kind enough to share some fascinating stories with us and offer an insight into the reality of producing coffee in a country that has some challenges. While coffee has been in Boyce’s family for generations – his ancestors established the farm in 1904- he described how one of the biggest trials the coffee industry in Kenya will face within the next decade will be getting young people interested in coffee and farming. Currently the majority of Boyce’s workforce are aged forty plus, with many of them having worked in the industry for most of their lives. Reaching young people in the years to come and encouraging an interest in coffee and farming will be a very real and necessary feat in Kenya as without this new generation coming through farms like Boyce’s could face some challenges.
Growers such as Boyce are integral to the growth and validity of the specialty coffee industry. Listening to him talk about his work and learning about his approach to producing coffee drove home just how fortunate we are to work with such highly skilled and passionate growers, and we’re happy to be in a position where we can tell our friends and customers exactly where their coffee has come from. To be a good grower you need the knowledge and the passion, not to mention a good dose of courage. Chania was one of the first farms in Kenya to start producing naturally processed coffees, Boyce explained the amount of thorough research and understanding this required before treading into this widely uncharted territory in Kenya.
We are proud to showcase Boyce’s natural coffees from the Chania Estate in our single origin offering. Keep an eye out for these unique, and very special coffees in the webshop throughout the year!
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