Contact Us

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Karamu Espresso HQ
1/50 Gracefield Road
Gracefield, Wellington

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Our Beans

The Power to Make a Difference

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Most of the world’s coffee comes from developing countries, where it can make up to 80% of Gross National Product (GNP). These countries often lack things we Kiwis take for granted, like a minimum wage or universal schooling. The income farming families get for their coffee can make the difference between a hard but decent life, or grinding poverty. But the price that coffee farmers get is controlled by the international open market, and is extremely changeable. Unscrupulous middlemen often take advantage of vulnerable farmers, further eroding the farmers’ profits. At Karamu we don’t want to put our money into an economy that takes advantage of the most vulnerable. That’s why we’re supporting the ethical trade movement and sourcing all our coffee from Fair Trade sources.

Why Fair Trade?

Fairtrade is the only international standard that gives coffee farmers a price that covers the average cost of sustainable production. It’s a safety net against the worst peaks and troughs of international commodity prices. This security allows Fairtrade certified coffee farmers to plan ahead, invest in better production methods, and even start sending their kids to school. Fairtrade coffee producers are small family farms, organised in cooperatives or associations which the farmers own and run democratically – meaning fewer middlemen and rip-off merchants.

Our Beans

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Mexican Chiapas

The Chiapas region is right on the border of Guatemala's Huehuetenango region, far down near the southern edge of Mexico. Chiapas state is one of Mexico’s poorest states. It boasts Aztec ruins and beautiful rainforests – but has few schools and little infrastructure. People struggle to earn enough from farming to meet their families’ basic needs, so Fairtrade standards make a big difference.

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Nicaraguan Segovia

Nueva Segovia is a lush, high-altitude rainforest region in the north of Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s countryside is spectacular and its history fascinating. These days, much of the country scrapes by on intermittent farming work – producing cotton, coffee, and other commodities. Wages in Nicaragua are the lowest in the Americas, and it’s a tough place to live. Coffee farmers in Fairtrade cooperatives like PRODECOOP have much better opportunities than most.

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Ethiopian Yirgacheffe & Guji

Ethiopia is the ancestral home of coffee. Highland Ethiopians have been growing, roasting, brewing and enjoying coffee for thousands of years. It’s drunk with elaborate ceremony, expert pouring, and lots of socialising. Fairtrade standards help Ethiopia’s coffee farmers bargain collectively, through local cooperatives, and also earn the price premium. Karamu roasts both Yirgacheffe and Guji coffees, two of Ethiopia’s wet-processed coffees.

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Guatemala

Guatemala is a beautiful and impoverished country, and like many coffee-producing countries, most of its people struggle to get by. The ASOBAGRI cooperative was established to support small-scale farmers and their communities. Its Cafe con Manos de Mujer group provides training, small loans and other support for women who’re single, widowed or whose partners have left for the USA. At Karamu we think this is brilliant, and are excited to support Cafe con Manos de Mujer.

A coffee farmer who’s part of the PRODECOOP collection of fair trade coffee cooperatives. Photo: PRODECOOP & Trade Aid.

Mokona Hirbayee, a Yirgacheffe coffee farmer with the Fair Trade certified Negele Gorbitu cooperative. Photo credit: Trade Aid.

Sebastiana Martinez Gomez, one of the leading women in the women’s coffee cooperative (and successful coffee farmer and a widowed single mum). Photo credit: Trade Aid.

Classroom built with earnings from the Fair Trade coffee premium through the Negele Gorbitu coffee cooperative – now local kids don’t have to walk 10km and ford a river to get to school. Photo credit: Trade Aid.

Ayantu and Oromia Ibrahim, two of four sisters who now go to school after their community built one with their coffee cooperative’s Fair Trade premium earnings. Photo credit: Trade Aid.

Members of the ISMAM coffee co-operative near Pablo Galeano, in the Siltepec region of Chiapas, Mexico – a fair trade coffee cooperative. Photo credit: Trade Aid.