March Part 2: Keen Coffee Roasters

March Part 2: Keen Coffee Roasters

Skriven av Daniel Carlsson den


 We now move onto Keen Coffee Roasters from Utrecht in the Netherlands - a roastery started by two friends Bonne and Rob with vast experience in coffee and very keen on sharing it with others. Their friendliness matches their coffee very well, and we are excited to feature them. Meet Bonne in this short interview: 

Who are you guys that founded Keen and how did you first meet? 

- I started Keen with Rob 6 years ago, back then we were friends for 5 years and met each other in a coffeebar in Utrecht. Our coffee adventure started when a local student association asked us to serve coffee during the opening of the new college year, we served coffee to around 1000 students and kept on working together!

 

Can you tell us about the story of how Keen started and your ambitions back then?

- We had the idea to level up our game since we had been barista's for a while. The roastery business was quite new and we liked the idea of being in control of our own buying and roasting. We also felt we could get an important position in the coffee chain, linking farmers to consumers.

Has competition always been a part of Keen and can you tell us a bit more about your experiences?

- Yes! we've been into latte art, barista and brewerscup since the beginning and we still see the fun we get from competing. It's also a very good reason to challenge and question yourself. The world championships have been very intense but one of the most valuable experiences we had so far. The community is great and we got to know so many nice coffee people!

Do you have any brewing knowledge or tips you could share that you learned through competing?

- So many! But I would say a fresh and methodical work ethos was the most helpful in the past years. There's so many gear, and hypes and idea's which are great and fun to explore, but ... think twice, check facts, do some experiments yourself and shape your opinion. We've had to adjust ours so many times just because we assumed stuff. Specialty Coffee is still young and thus so much to explore! that's what we like about it :)

Any fun facts about you guys or the company?

- We named our company Keen Coffee, mainly because we are 'keen on coffee' ... but the nerdy 90's computer people out there might remember Commander Keen too, so I guess it says a lot that we are from this generation and have been computer game pioneers too! Check the bottom of our coffee pouch ;)

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Here we present you the first featured coffee:

MAHEMBE - RWANDA

Country: Rwanda

RegionNyamasheke

Altitude: 1900 masl

ProducerJustin Musabyiama

Washing station: Mahembe

Process: Washed

VarietyRed Bourbon


    Just like his father before him, Justin is extremely passionate about coffee and highly committed to nurturing the relationships he has with the smallholders that deliver their cherries to the Mahembe washing station. Not only does he make sure that the smallholders are fairly and competitively compensated for their hard work, he also invests in the community that he is such a proud part of by, amongst other things, building a wet mill on his father’s plantation.

    Another reason that these lots are getting better each year is the fact that, at Mahembe, the coffee goes through a strict routine for reception and a rigorous sorting process. In addition to the farmers being expected to sort their own cherries before delivering them to Mahembe, Justin’s team will conduct further sorting at the washing station by placing the cherries in a tank and eliminating floaters, which are then processed separately.  

     

    How to brew Mahembe Filter: 

    15gr IN - 210gr OUT

    30gr water 30sec bloom

    60gr water 1:00

    150gr water 1:30

    210gr water 2:00

     

    How to brew Mahembe as espresso:
     
    19.5 IN - 40 OUT - in 26 sec.
     
     
     
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    If you have three coffees in your coffee-box, then your journey does not stop here! We will now be moving onto the second coffee: 
     
     

    FINCA EL GUAYACAN - ECUADOR

    Country: Ecuador

    RegionZamora Chinchipe

    Altitude: 1660 masl

    ProducerDarwin Gaona

    Process: Washed

    VarietyTypica

     

    In the south of Ecuador, right on the border with Peru, you’ll find the municipality of Chinchipe. Chinchipe is surrounded by the green mountains of the Sabanilla mountain range and hugged tightly by the Sangola River. Amidst this picturesque scenery we find the farm of Darwin Gaona and his family, El Guayacan. Their farm is named after an old Guayacan tree that has stood the test of time and has been there for as long as anyone can remember. Darwin, his five brothers and their parents work together to produce these awesome beans, while also caring for the cattle they raise for milk and meat.

    Around five years ago, the family started to dabble in coffee farming on a little tucked-away corner of their farmland. They sold it here and there, but never realised that what they were selling was actually pretty darn special. Until, one day about a year ago, when they got a visit from PECA, who raved about the quality of their beans and informed them that their coffee had amazing specialty potential. Spurred on by this surprise, Darwin and his family have since made many improvements, such as more accurate farm management, processing practices and adding a wet mill.

     

    Brew El Guayacan on filter:

    16gr IN - 220gr OUT

    30gr water 30sec bloom

    60gr water 1:00

    150gr water 1:30

    210gr water 2:00

     

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    We hope you'll enjoy the coffees and wish you a very sunny March. Thank you for you for this time!