Every cup of coffee has a story – and ours is truly one-of-a-kind. We’re proud to offer the first specialty single origin from Mozambique, inspired and grown by local farmers in Gorongosa National Park. Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting new brew!
WHAT IS A SINGLE ORIGIN?
In simple terms, a single origin is coffee that can be traced to a single producer, crop, or region in the world. Often, these special brews are further segmented by processing method, harvest season, and even by micro-lot (a single plot from a single farm). Similar to “terroir” in the wine industry, a coffee’s origin has an impact on its flavor, quality, and taste, evoking the unique characteristics of the area where it is grown.
Our 2021 Single Origin – an elegant medium roast with notes of walnut, toast, and Meyer lemon – was grown and harvested by local farmers on Mount Gorongosa, in the heart of Mozambique’s Sofala province. Coffee Manager, Quentin Haarhoff says: “Gorongosa is one of the few places in Mozambique suited for arabica cultivation, based on rainfall, temperature, and altitude, among other factors.” Coffee thrives in the mountain’s lush rainforest, where shade, high altitudes, and climate come together to deliver a high-quality bean unique to Mozambique.
THE FIRST SINGLE ORIGIN FROM MOZAMBIQUE
Unlike its African neighbors, Mozambique doesn’t have a rich history in coffee production – and we’re excited to change that. Quentin tells Perfect Daily Grind: “[Gorongosa] is really wild, it’s really inaccessible, and it’s difficult to operate in. There’s also a war that is only just finishing. But [Mozambique has] got this wonderful national park where the health of the forest is linked to coffee.”
What may have been a hindrance to some was an opportunity for Quentin. In 2015, he headed up the Gorongosa Coffee Project, a collaboration between Gorongosa National Park (GNP), arabica coffee experts, and local farmers on Mount Gorongosa. The goal: To revive the mountain’s biodiverse rainforest – depleted by years of civil war and subsistence farming – with shade-grown coffee.
Today, we work with more than 600 farmers who are planting 300,000 coffee trees per year and 50,000 rainforest saplings alongside them. The shade provided by growing hardwood trees and other crops (like bananas, chilis, and more) supports an environment where arabica coffee can flourish. In the mountain’s unique microclimate, biodiversity, coffee science, and conservation combine to create the perfect cup.
INSPIRED BY LOCAL FARMERS
This single origin release may be our first, but it certainly isn’t our last! Every year, we’ll deliver an all-new batch with different flavors, tasting notes, and a limited edition label. Coffee trees take five years to mature, so each single origin will be a limited run with nuances you’ll be able to taste from year to year.
This year’s edition is inspired by the incredible contributions of our farmers, many of whom are women, who have been part of the coffee project from the very beginning. Our CEO Matt Jordan says, “One thing that’s hard for Americans and Europeans to understand is the number of shocks that smaller Mozambican farmers, their families, and communities have been subjected to. I’ve lived here for five years. The country has been through two violent armed conflicts, a cyclone, droughts, flooding conditions, currency devalued in half, and plagues of insects that have destroyed all the crops – and that’s just in half a decade.”
Vaida and Fatianca are two of the inspiring and resilient farmers we work with on Mount Gorongosa. These childhood best friends began working for the Coffee Project at the same time, and have been dedicated ever since. When a major political conflict forced farmers to abandon their fields, Vaida, Fatianca, and other women snuck up to the nursery in the middle of the night to continue to tend to their coffee plants!
With their first coffee earnings, Vaida and Fatianca rented a motorbike, made their way down the mountain, and spent the day shopping in Vila Gorongosa. Vaida says: “I really, really like coffee because it earns money. Last year I bought new capulana [bright colored, patterned cloth used for skirts and scarves] and some things for the house. It was great… There are other things that I appreciate, too. I love the taste of coffee. I have learned new skills in growing coffee, picking coffee cherries, and how to dry the beans. And, I have learned about the park.”
MORE COFFEE MEANS MORE IMPACT
Our Single Origin includes 100% Gorongosa Green grown by farmers like Vaida and Fatianca. We pay our farmers a price per kilogram for their yield with a price floor to ensure they have a sustainable livelihood. This income helps them put food on their tables, send their children (and grandchildren) to school, and save for the future.
Matt says: “Coffee could produce 10 times more income than maize or other subsistence crops grown by local farmers. It produces much better income and it encourages farmers to re-grow the rainforest. It is a win-win development for the farmers and the environment.”
In addition to planting and harvesting, processing, sorting, and grading all take place on Mount Gorongosa. Owning every step of the value chain creates more job and training opportunities for Mozambicans, and also insulates farmers from fluctuating coffee prices.
Like every Our Gorongosa roast, 100% of the profits from each bag go right back to our farmers, their communities, and the Gorongosa ecosystem. In Matt’s words, “Our coffee program is really about achieving a triple win. People benefit, conservation benefits, and our supporters get a great cup of coffee.” We couldn’t say it better ourselves!
Are you excited to try our Single Origin? Act quick! The first 100 customers to purchase a bag will receive a beautiful wooden coffee scoop, handcrafted with care by woodworking artisans in Gorongosa.