Where Your Coffee is Born

About the Author

Paul Thomson worked with African Wildlife Foundation in Nairobi for a year before moving to Washington D.C. Paul has worked at the Madrid Aquarium and at the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands outside San Francisco. He was born in New Zealand but grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Paul… More

Visiting coffee farms in Nyeri, Kenya

I'm in Nyeri, Kenya, where they grow the world's best coffee. This is the site of the AWF-Starbucks coffee project. You can see some of the green coffee farms on the steep slopes of Nyeri behind us.

John Kibocha, Coffee Promoter in Nyeri, Kenya

This is John Kibocha, a coffee farmer trained by AWF to use Starbucks practices that are better for his crop and better for the environment. The training has helped John increase his yield from 148 kilos (two years ago) to 715 kilos (last season).

Picking coffee

These guys help John harvest his coffee cherries.

Red ripe coffee cherries

Once picked, the coffee cherries are taken to the factory. The cherries are sorted by grade and are weighed.

coffe pulping machine

This is a pulping machine which extracts the coffee beans from the cherries. At the Kihuyo factory, AWF installed a new electric motor to replace the more polluting diesel motor.

Cofee Beans on Drying Rack

After passing through several stages of soaking, the beans are laid in the sun to be dried.

John's Family

John told me, "Last year I received a record payment of 32.5 shillings per kilo for my coffee. Now my family is happy and we have the incentive to to perform even better next year."