We source the Mpenjati Coffee directly from their farm in Southern KZN, South Africa.
Long time coming
We have been looking for a good South African coffee since we started in 2006. While we have found a limited number of South African coffee producing farms, some have produced lower quality coffee, or have decided not to sell the green coffee to us.
When we heard Des talking at a creative coffee week, we were intrigued. Was this finally a farmer we could work with?
A few messages and phone calls later, we were sent samples. A week later they were roasted, and we were impressed. We got hold of Des, and he said the new crop was not in, but he had some left from earlier in the year. We asked him to send all he could (of the coffees we liked).
Furthermore, we first offered this coffee to fellow coffee lovers at the end of 2021, now it is back, and we are hoping we will be able to offer the coffee for an extended period.
The coffee is grown in the rolling coastal hills of Southern Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Near where the Mpenjati River over millennia has carved a course to the Indian Ocean. With hot humid summers and mild balmy winters are typical of the region, the coffee produces a major and minor crop per year.
From coffee mag. article: “Mpenjati Coffee is the brain child of Desmond and Leigh Wichmann. Des comes from generations of farmers and grew up working the land, earning him the Zulu nickname ‘Magwava’ because you would often spot him out in the fields with a Guava in his hand.
“Des went into Timber Farming at the start of his career, but his love of premium coffee always had him coming back to the feeling that the dark, rich soil along the Mpenjati River would make an ideal home for a coffee farm. Starting with just a few trees, he got planting with the hope that his gut instinct was right… and here we are, 43 hectares later with thousands of thriving trees and a delicious range of premium single origin and blended coffee to show for it!”
Since offering the coffee the first time, we have gone to see the farm. We think it is the biggest in South Africa. You can read more about our visit to Mpenjati coffee farm here…. We enjoyed our visit there, and Des and Leigh were super hospitable. Des has grown up in the area and is a third generation farmer.
We now have the latest 2022 season coffee. Last year we had the F6, this year we are offering the Cataui
Details of Mpenjati
- Farm: Is rented by the church to Des and Leigh.
- Social upliftment: The farm was fallow and now is a regular employee of local labour.
- Honey (H): 4-star complexity coffee with cherry, strawberry, cane sugar sweetness mild nuttiness to finish.
- Washed (W): 4-star complexity with black cherry and pineapple to start with a maple syrup sweetness and peanut finish with a hint of brown spice.
- Honey (H): A bump and straighten. Heat into drying, reduced, and then acceleration into browning, where we ease off to rely on radiant heat through first with a 12% development time.
- Washed (W): A straight ROR into first. Higher charge to ensure we shorten the drying stage (the coffee is low in moisture). Heat sustained into drying, reduced, and then acceleration into browning and through first with a 12.5% development time.
|Brew Method||Ratio (H/W)||Brew Method||Ratio (H/W)|
|Espresso||1:2.3 (24sec) / 2.4 (28sec)||AeroPress||16g/17g:180g|
|Sourced from||Mpenjati Coffee|
|Farm gate price||R150.00 / kg (logistics was an extra R9.50 per kg)|
|Cupping score||79.25 (yellow honey) / 78.5 (washed)|
|Producers||Desmond and Leigh Wichmann|
|lot size bought||3x15kg Yellow Honey; 3x15kg Washed Catuai (15 grade)|
|Relationship||This is our second coffee from this producer. We hope this to be a long term relationship.|