If you’re a follower of Cycle of Good and Elephant Bike, you’ll know all about our passion for both recycling and all things cycling!
During the Corona crisis, we like everyone else in the UK have had to adapt and seek new possibilities as we adjust to the economic impact of the pandemic. But as a wise man once said, “out of adversity comes opportunity”; and throughout lock down, we’ve been working on something special to sustain our trading income, whilst also continuing to promote fair and dignifying employment in Malawi.
Trading fairly to end poverty
Cycle of Good have received an amazing offer from a second-generation family coffee roasting business, based just down the road from us. Due to cafes being closed, their roasters were less busy and so volunteered their services. Chartley Coffee are supplied by a number of fair trade and Soil Association approved sources, the Misuku co-operative and smallholder coffee growers in Malawi are one of these.
The cooperative aims to make sure that every smallholder farmer has:
- a good house (with steel roof, concrete floor, plastered walls and good ventilation).
- three meals a day.
- enough warm clothing.
- and are able to send their children to school.
Owain Antcliffe, Chartley Coffee owner, tells us “Some of our coffee comes in machine-stitched bags, but the Mzuzu coffee sacks tell a story in themselves. The bags are carefully hand-stitched by growers; they are full of character”. Because Owain shares our passion for zero-waste and fair trade, he gives the coffee sacks back to us here Cycle of Good and they are all sewn into beautiful shopping and hand-bags. Where else can you buy a bag made from recycled coffee sacks and buy the coffee at the same time?
Are we allowed to review ourselves? Here goes anyway!
Our very first batch of coffee went into the roaster last Wednesday and was posted through letterboxes, in plastic free bio-degrable packaging, on Saturday morning. We found it to be a delicious treat of a weekend brew. It has a lovely nutty flavour, perhaps with a hint of dates and slight chocolatey after-taste (especially if you drink it with milk). Following a bracing Sunday cycle ride, it was a perfect energy boost. Above all, it provided that lovely warming feeling of having done some good by buying a good product which is keeping the wellbeing of people at it’s heart.
Here’s a little more about Cycle of Good Coffee
The Misuku mountains where our beans come from are part of the same mountainous Great African Rift Valley where the premium, high-altitude Rwandan coffee is grown. Coffee cherries are hand-harvested at dawn and brought to be pulped in the early afternoon. Careful washing and grading is carried out on the same day and then the wet beans settle into separate fermenting tanks. The fermented coffee is dried on raised beds then sampled for moisture content, green graded, roast assessed and cupped. After shipping through Mozambique, the best AA-graded beans arrive in the UK where expert roasters use vintage profile roasting machines to ensure consistent quality.
- Origin: Malawi
- Process: Fully washed
- Altitude: 1200-2000m
- Harvest: May-October
- Flavour: Butterscotch, Caramel, Orange
- SCA score: 86.5
- Varietal: Catimor129 (Nyika), Geisha
✔Grown at a height over 1,200 m in the mountains of the Misuku, north Malawi. Ensuring a perfect environment for the premium quality beans.
✔Hand-picked, washed and fermented by the Misuku cooperative.
✔Growers receive a good price for their beans and live in good conditions.
✔Profile roasted, by hand, on vintage roasters.
✔Freshly roasted to order, ensuring the best flavour.
✔Our UK roasters are volunteering their time and professional machinery freely to help us through lockdown, maximising benefit to charity.
✔Roasted on Wednesday, posted on Friday so it’s as fresh as fresh can be.
Fair trade coffee- delivered direct to your door!
Everything about this speciality coffee tells you it is crafted with care: care for the people involved in every stage, care for the environment and care for a quality, finished product with a sublime taste. All of which creates an invitation for you to buy a packet of coffee and share in the warm feeling of being part of the Cycle of Good.