A Path Forward for Women in Coffee
Roaster Partner Feature: Kahawa 1893
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with an estimated over 2 billion cups consumed every day. It's not just a drink, but a culture, a way of life. And for Kahawa 1893, it's a path forward for women in the industry. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re proud to feature our partner, Kahawa 1893, for the efforts they continue to make in supporting women within the coffee industry.
Founded in 2017 by Margaret Nyamumbo, a third-generation Kenyan coffee farmer, Kahawa 1893 set out on a mission to showcase the rich heritage of African coffee and to empower the women who produce it. Rooting itself in these two core values, Kahawa 1893 has built a business model that allows them to work directly with local women farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, and Congo while also inviting their customers in on the process via a “tipping” program where customers can tip the farmers directly via their website or a QR code on every coffee bag. Each tip is matched dollar-for-dollar by the company, further encouraging a strong connection between farmers, roasters, and consumers.
You might even recognize this featured partner from a recent episode of Shark Tank where multiple Sharks vied for a chance to invest in this game-changing business model that not only paves a way for women farmers in the coffee industry, but for women entrepreneurs everywhere. After ultimately striking a deal with Emma Grede, CEO and cofounder of Good American and founding partner of Skims, Kahawa 1893 is continuing its journey to providing sustainable wages for women coffee farmers and celebrating the rich history of African coffee.
Kahawa 1893 offers a range of coffee blends, each with its own unique flavor profile. Our personal favorite and the company's signature blend is the Safari blend, made with beans from Margaret Nyamumbo's family farm. The blend is best described as having a bright acidity with notes of blackcurrant and chocolate, leaving you wishing ever so slightly for the next sip.
Kahawa 1893, as a whole, is a celebration of the origins of Kenyan coffee and the local farmers that have tended to the beans throughout history. “Kahawa,” meaning “coffee” in Swahili, nods to the local language and the year 1893 honors the year coffee found its way back to Africa’s shores after its discovery in Ethiopia (read more about The Surprising Myth of Coffee’s Origin here) and centuries of trade around the world. But Kahawa 1893 is not just a coffee company; it's a company with a story to tell and a path to pave. Through its mission of promoting African coffee and empowering women in the industry, Kahawa 1893 is creating a more sustainable and equitable coffee industry. And by sharing its story with the world, Kahawa 1893 is helping to build a greater appreciation for the rich heritage of African coffee.