Geranium, orange sherbet, apricot compote
When it comes to producing exceptional coffee, it truly takes a village. Women are a tremendously influential part of the global coffee community, making up 70% of the labor in field work and harvesting—detail-oriented roles which ultimately translate to excellence in the cup. However, women face steep challenges when it comes to equitable access to career growth, land, education, and credit, representing just 20-30% of farm ownership.
The Village is a celebration of women in coffee, composed of seasonally-rotating selections from valued relationships with female producers and cooperatives, aimed at highlighting and addressing this gender gap. According to strong research, investing in women increases the sustainability of coffee everywhere—women are more likely to reinvest their income back into their families, their coffee businesses, and their communities. And when access to decision-making and the
Currently, The Village comes from a Kenyan cooperative in the Nandi Hills called Kapkiyai Farmers Cooperative Society Women’s Group. Expect a complex balance of balanced acidity and layers of sweetness. This coffee has a really unique blend of soft, sweet florals and dried fruit (think golden raisin) upfront. As the cup cools, toothier flavors such as milk chocolate, dried peach, and marzipan come through. Complementary botanicals alongside caramel and fruit-driven sweetness make this a truly exceptional cup of coffee!
OriginNandi Hills, Rift Valley, Kenya
ProducerKapkiyai Farmers Cooperative Society Women's Group
VarietySL28, Ruiru 11, SL34, Batian, K7
Meet the Women of Kapkiyai
This coffee comes to us through our partnership with Vava Angwenyi of Vava Coffee, a vertically integrated export and social benefit company. Until a few years ago, women only existed in the periphery of the Kapkiyai Farmers Cooperative. Although they played essential roles to coffee production, such as picking ripe cherries and carrying the loads down the hills after harvest, men owned the coffee trees, decision-making process, and the profits reaped from their production. However, in 2010, Kapkiyai began receiving support from the Coffee Initiative, and the training in both agronomy and the management of the cooperative and wet mill emphasized gender inclusion.
It Takes a Village
Women produced 55,000 kilograms of the 200,114 total cherry produced by Kapkiyai in 2015, a contribution that played a significant role in helping the cooperative purchase an eco-pulper, a new pulping machine that processes 1,500 kilograms of coffee cherry per hour. “Without women, we would not have this machine,” said Chairman Saina. Women have also made inroads into the cooperative’s decision-making process by rising into leadership positions. Dorcas Jeptanui is both the chairlady of the Women in Coffee group and a member of the cooperative’s management committee.
Meet the Artist Behind The Village
As a product that features seasonally rotating coffees from valued relationships with female producers, we hoped to reflect the diversity of stories and perspectives as well as origins in the label artwork. To do so, we had the privilege of working with the incredible Costa Rica-based illustrator, Erica Zeledón Salazar to bring the concept to life. We were drawn to her use of vibrant colors and texture, as well as how she uses symbolic elements to connect her ideas to the natural world.
We had a chance to speak to Erica about what inspires her work, and specifically the design for The Village.