It’s all about relationship for Okon Udosenata, roast master and co-owner at Equiano Coffee Company, a small family-owned business roasting and serving some of Eugene, Oregon’s best coffees. Equiano Coffee’s latest offering of the beloved “Java” coffee varietal from Cameroon exemplifies this value of choosing connection and relationship over price.
Equiano Coffee has sourced and roasted Cameroonian coffee in the past and customers lamented not being able to brew and enjoy this flavorful cup when Equiano’s supplies sold out. But Udosenata wasn’t willing to continue purchasing these beans from the behemoth coffee importer that had supplied his initial stock. And it was just by chance that Udosenata ran into an old friend on the street one day that happened to have a personal connection to a family from Portland, Oregon that worked with Cameroonian coffee farmers.
After an introduction and a sit down meeting over a cup of coffee at Equiano’s coffee tasting room, Udosenata found what he had been looking for, an opportunity to work directly with small farm producers in Cameroon.
U.S. To Cameroon: Making The Connection
Enter “Wum Bee Coffee”. Wum Bee co-owner Franklin Kwa, a former professional soccer player living in Portland, Oregon and his wife Mischelle would meet with their friend Kevin over a cup of coffee and discuss how they might facilitate a connection between the two cultures that they loved. The answer, it turns out, was right in their cup. It was the coffee itself and the connection between the farmers in Cameroon and the coffee lovers in here the U.S. that would inspire these three friends’ new adventure. Franklin and Mischelle Kwa moved their family to the small village of Wum in the Northwest region of Cameroon and with the help of friends and family began Wum Bee Coffee, a company dedicated to bridging the financial and relationship gaps between the small farmers & coffee co-ops in Cameroon with coffee roasters and consumers in America.
Not only does the Kwa family connect coffee producers from their home region in Cameroon with coffee roasters and buyers from the U.S., they are also steeped in helping local producers maintain a high standard of quality in the production of the Java varietal Arabica beans as well as initiating and helping to maintain a healthy & quality life for farming families through various community projects such as bringing water quality and educational resources to local coffee-producing villages.
Wum Bee, Oku Valley, Cameroon, Java
The famous Java varietal of Arabica grade coffee grown in the Oku Valley region of Cameroon is meticulously processed to ensure the utmost quality so that the resulting bean produces the absolute best in flavor characteristics. Once the coffee cherries are picked from the farm trees and transported to the local co-op processing facilities, pains are taken to pick through the pulped and washed beans a total of 4 times to ensure only the best product makes it into your cup. The beans are then separated into 5 different sizes from the uniquely tiny “peaberry” up to screen size #18 all of which boast their own subtly unique flavor characteristics.
Through the expert roasting of Equiano’s Okon Udosenata, these Java beans offer an amazing array of flavor characteristics from milk chocolate, cinnamon & amaretto -to- sweet fruity notes of guava, apricot and even brown sugar.
Available both online at www.equianocoffee.com and at Equiano’s tasting room in Eugene, Oregon, Udosenata will be rotating through the different size Cameroon Java beans over the coming months so that all of our fellow coffee lovers can have the opportunity to experience and enjoy the many subtle and delicious flavor characteristics of this amazing coffee. So whether you serve only the best specialty Arabica coffees to your business’ customers or simply enjoy brewing coffee for yourself at home, I encourage you to treat yourself to some of this uniquely delicious coffee.
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