Our first release of four Kenyans (yes we have four coffees from the same producer), and this is the washed AA version. Dave met Chepsangor's owner Rosebella Langat in 2022 at the first Lucia Solis fermentation camp in Santuario Colombia. Rosebella kept saying how much the Colombian forest and landscape reminded her of home. Lush and green with a full flowing river and an abundance of birdsong, colourful flowers etc. Not a picture that immediately comes to mind when thinking of Kenya. As a small roasting business we don't get that many opportunities to spend time with producers from different countries. When you do and that connection is made it feels important to work on that relationship, and through the nice folk at 'This Side Up', we were able to secure three separate lots (the 4th came via a different channel), this washed AA, a natural and an anaerobic natural.
Chepsangor coffee farms are located at the Nandi Hills in a highland area of lush green rolling hills at the edge of the Great Rift Valley in the southwestern part of Kenya. Chepsangor Hills lies at an elevation of between 1750-2000 meters above sea level. Coupled with rich volcanic soils, Arabica coffee thrives in Chepsangor with coffee varieties SL 28, Ruiru 11, and Batian.
Chepsangor Coffee is focused on environmental sustainability and ensures that soil health is a priority in their agronomy practices. Soil testing is done at the farms every year which informs the decisions on crop nutrition. Terracing, manuring, zero-till, inter-cropping with indigenous trees, pruning, and beekeeping for purposes of pollination are mandatory practices at Chepsangor farms.
Rosebella also works to support other women smallholders in the region to achieve sustainable production that leads to economic empowerment. Unlike many Kenyan smallholders who sell cherry into factories (or mills), Chepsangor have invested in their own Eco-depulper to process their and their partners coffees. This gives far greater control and traceability over the lots. Once depulped, the mucilage covered seeds are fermented for up to 24hrs for the yeasts and bacteria to do their thing and break down the pectin bonds bedfore passing through traditional serpentine channels for a final washing stage, leaving a crispy parchment covered seed ready for drying.