Beans: Wakuli blend, Brazil – Catuai, Mondo Novo, Ethiopia – Heirloom, Indonesia – Unique Robusta.
Shop: Wakuli, webshop, The Netherlands
Wakuli Blend: Background information.
Instead of telling you about the origin of this blended coffee, I would like you to meet Wakuli.com. Wakuli is a company that was founded in 2017 by two gentlemen from The Netherlands: Yorick and Lukas. Their partner Daan joined the company in 2018, making the team complete.
Yorick was working for a company in agriculture in Rwanda and he noticed that, in the coffee trade, everybody was making money except the farmers. When Lukas visited Yorick in Rwanda they both agreed that there was a simple way to let the farmers earn some money as well: skip the middle man and bring the profit directly to the farmers.
The idea of Wakuli was born and together they started a crowdfunding to get the first shipment of true fair-trade coffee to The Netherlands in august 2018. True fair-trade you say? Yes, true fair-trade. Let’s keep it simple: the price for fair-trade coffee is the price that is paid when the coffee is shipped on board in the harbour (FOB). This means that the farmers (growing and picking the coffee), the washing station (processing the coffee) and the transporters (bringing the coffee from the farms to the harbour) are left out of the price. Only the trader sees the actual Fair-trade price and determines how much the rest is getting. Research shows that it is near impossible to determine if this actually happens. So this isn’t actual ‘Fair-trade’ is it?
Wakuli brings the coffee straight to The Netherlands and thus the farmers get more money. This results in better education for their children, better healthcare and even a better understanding of how to grow coffee and save the environment at the same time. Wakuli makes it their goal to be transparent about their costs and everybody can see where the money is going. This results in farmers getting a staggering average of 27.5% of the price per kilo instead of a meagre 7% which is paid by conventional coffee brands. Way to go Wakuli.
Wakuli Blend – Insights:
The Wakuli Blend consists out of coffee from three different countries. First we have the natural Brazilian Catuai and Novo Mondo. Seconds there is the washed Ethiopian Heirloom and last but not least we have the natural Indonesian Unique robusta.
The Brazilian farmers get 13.6% profit, the Ethiopian farmers get 31.1% and the Indonesian farmers get 16.4% profit. Again: farmers selling their coffees the normal way get only 7% profit.
The Wakuli Blend is here to stay, meaning that Wakuli will keep this specific blend for a long time. In this case it is really important that the tasting notes of this coffee can appeal to a lot of their customers.
Wakuli Blend – Opening the package.
The Wakuli package comes in a stylish grey rectangular package with a huge ziplock and a degassing valve. The ziplock is great; I can reach in with a spoon to scoop up coffee without losing all my beans when I take the spoon out. The package is totally blank except for the white name Wakuli on the front and a tiny sticker on the back. The sticker states the roasting date, amount of grams and a QR code to go their website.
Fortunately the coffee comes with a lovely postcard style infographic with all sorts of information. Country of origin, process information, the money trail and more information on the coffee.
The roast looks great when I open the package I get a earthy, nutty and soft spicy aroma. The Brazil and Indonesian beans are working their magic already.
Wakuli Blend – The Tasting:
Wakuli uses an omniroast for their coffees in order to cater to a larger group of customers. Omniroast is a method that is used to roast coffee so that the beans can be used for filter and espresso coffee. This is why I reviewed this coffee on the ECM Giotto as an espresso and the Hario V60 as filter at the same time. Omniroast is a method that can easily screw up your coffee if it is not done in the right way. I can already disclose that Wakuli did the omniroast the right way and that I could review the coffee without experiencing any problems.
Wakuli Blend – Filter:
I used a 15/225gr recipe to brew the Wakuli blend on the Hario V60.
When brewing this coffee I get a dark mix of caramel, honey and lavender aroma when its hot. The lavender is not overly apparent but it sort of stings your nose when you smell the brew. When the brew cools off the aromas are accompanied with caramelized sugar and soft cotton candy.
I pour in the coffee, take a sip and slurp oxygen inside my mouth. The coffee has some dark notes that remind me of caramelized sugar and a hint of tobacco. The coffee is sweet and I can feel my glands pulling saliva. As the coffee cools down the darker notes become a little lighter and the flavours of sweet caramel and dark honey can be detected. The aftertaste of this coffee is caramelized sugar at first but later gets notes of black tea leaves. Later on this is accompanied with a note of salmiak underneath my tongue that just lingers and lingers. Apart from the aroma of lavender, the Ethiopian coffee does not clearly add to the pallet of the coffee.
Wakuli Blend – Espresso.
I start brewing my espresso and I can see a marbled brown syrup flow into my small cup. The colors mingle nicely and the aroma’s that come off of the coffee are that of whole grain cookies and sweet nuts. When the coffee cools down the aroma of caramel appears as well.
I take a sip of the espresso and slurp oxygen inside;
the first thing that I notice is the bright acidity on my tongue. It feels lovely. Together with a sweet cookie flavour, there is a soft sourness on the side of my tongue. I swirl the coffee in my mouth and notice the caramel note appear together with sweet nuts. As I swallow the coffee I can clearly smell and taste the caramel flavour together with the nutty aspect. When the aftertaste kicks in I get a pleasant surprise; Anise. This only lasts for a couple of seconds but it is definitely there. I mentioned the sourness in the beginning of this tasting and it reminded me of sour oranges. When you swallow the coffee, this sourness mingles with a dry cocoa bitterness in the aftertaste. this sensation go’s very well with the anise, nuts and caramel flavours.
Wakuli Blend – The verdict.
Like I said; Wakuli needs to have a blend that will appeal to most people in order to sell it each and every month. The main flavours and aroma’s that I got from this blend were that of caramelized sugar, caramel and sweet nuts. On the filter there is also a soft lavender aspect on the nose but you will need to look for it. Both brews are ‘easy drinkers’ for both at home and in the office with flavours that everybody can easily detect. Personally I prefer to brew this coffee on the espresso machine; the flavours and aroma’s come across a little better as a whole in my espresso cup.
Wakuli did a great job by blending this Wakuli blend coffee and I really think that this is a coffee that you can drink all day, every day. I would definitely pay 5.99 euro for this coffee without blinking my eyes.