Frequently asked questions
What is Macenta Beans about?
Macenta Beans is a pioneering coffee venture based in the Macenta region of Guinea in West Africa. We select, process and supply green coffee beans to roasters around the world. As well as creating commercial viability, we also integrate the wider social issues of local farming communities in our practices and vision.
Where can I buy the coffee?
We have already set up a partnership with two leading European roasters to bring our new 2020 batch to market in tandem with a crowdfunding action to put in place the necessary infrastructure at a grassroots level. A list of regional partners selling Macenta Beans coffee will be published on our website in Q1 2021. As a special thank you to those who support us in our forthcoming crowdfunding action, we are also creating a small batch exclusively for you.
What is a crowdfunding campaign?
Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital through the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and individual investors. Every individual can participate and even so small a contribution is of big help.
What kind of coffee do you produce?
We produce single-origin specialty Robusta coffee. Right now it’s almost impossible to get hold of a quality Robusta in Europe or indeed anywhere else. Many coffee lovers around the world will have only ever experienced coffee from Arabica crops, either from Ethiopia or Central and South America. If you have tasted Robusta it will likely have been an inferior off-grade form of the kind used in cheap mass produced coffees. Yet baristas and leading voices in the coffee industry are increasingly looking to Robustas, not just for environmental and ecological reasons, but for the unique taste profiles they can offer.
What is »specialty coffee«?
Specialty coffee refers to the process from farmer to cup. Coffees graded 80+ are considered ‘specialty’. This grade guarantees quality and consistency.
Where is the coffee produced?
All Macenta Beans coffee is produced in Macenta. Surrounded by rainforest and the Ziama Massif mountain range, the region has a unique microclimate that’s perfect for growing high quality coffee.
Is your coffee organic?
The coffee is organic in that it grows under pure natural conditions. Our farmers don’t use any fertilizers or chemicals. Applications are currently being prepared and submitted for Bio certification. We are confident that Macenta Beans will receive organic certification from all major international bodies within the next 18 months.
Is your coffee certified?
Not yet. We are fully transparent on what we do and how we operate. The quality, ethical and environmental standards we are establishing go far beyond those on the market right now.
What are you doing to make sure your coffee is genuinely sustainable?
The farmers we work with are all smallholder farming families on agroforestry land. They use no chemicals, no irrigation except rain water, and every coffee plant is pollinated by bees and insects, which boosts biodiversity. We also reuse everything we get from our coffee cherries, converting the pulp and husk into organic fertilizers for our farmers. And as Europe’s closest coffee production country, our coffee can help you reduce your carbon footprint by reducing food miles. Finally, we’re planting trees, not cutting them down and we’re running grassroots programmes to educate and organize against the devastating effects of deforestation.
Why is there so little Robusta on the market?
As the global coffee market grew exponentially in the past 30 years, a high-end specialty market emerged. This market focused on selling Arabica, mostly because of the superior way Arabica has been processed. Robusta has lagged behind due to lack of knowledge and lack of investment at the grassroots level. Macenta Beans is building the infrastructure, the knowledge and the access points for the specialty market to embrace Robusta as a serious alternative to established Arabica products.
What is the Macenta Beans supply model?
We are a vertically integrated company, so we source, select, process and market our own green coffee beans, thereby offering a fully traceable product. Most of the world’s coffee passes through the hands of many intermediaries, which makes it hard to guarantee quality, ethical and environmental standards. By bringing these processes under one roof, we can protect quality and consistency while ensuring fair and responsible outcomes for our farming communities.
How are you increasing revenues for Macenta’s coffee farmers?
Coffee is a crop that takes on average 3-4 years to come to fruition being planted. Currently, coffee farmers in Macenta receive low revenues because the markets they supply offer no price differentiation based on quality. This removes the incentive to deliver a quality product. By investing in our farmers and establishing high end practices and quality control at every stage, we enable them to access specialty markets and receive decent revenues for what they produce.
How are you investing in the wider community?
A significant percentage of our profits will be reserved for social and community-based goals. This includes actions to promote gender equality and create opportunities for traditionally excluded groups such as those with disabilities, ranging from educational projects and grassroots infrastructure to an initiative supporting local women in the agricultural sector.
Are you working with cooperatives?
Farmer organizations in Macenta are not organised in cooperatives rather in Unions. But these organisations are weak. One of our priorities at Macenta Beans is to build trust and transparency among agricultural communities. From our point of view, this is the best basis to encourage farmers to organize themselves in cooperatives.