George Howell Coffee has been buying Mamuto since 2006. It has never faltered. The late Walter Mathagu always produced coffees that were perfectly ripe and sweet. They ranged from excellent to exquisite as weather patterns challenged but never overcame him. His son, Patrick Mathagu, is now runs this great farm.
Mamuto grows beneath the slopes of the usually overcast seventeen thousand-plus foot Mt. Kenya, looming above to the north. The soil is deep red-orange in a lush green very gently undulating landscape. All the coffee is processed at the farm right through drying. After drying, the coffee remains in parchment approximately six weeks resting in aerated bins before being transported for final milling and packaging. Besides coffee the Mathagus maintain a herd of dairy cattle and grow bananas, maize, beans and macadamia on their 21 acre farm.
Walter Paul Mathagu was an agricultural officer serving the government of Kenya for seventeen years before retiring in 1987. During that entire time Mrs. Mathagu managed the farm. Taking inspiration from their family, Mr. Mathagu explained that “Mamuto” means “father, mother, and children.” He and his wife named the farm by combining the first two letters from three words: his name, Mathagu, as the father; Muthoni, his wife’s maiden name, as mother; and toto, meaning child or children in Swahili: thus Mamuto. Mr. and Mrs. Mathagu have six children - three boys, three girls. We continue to buy Mamuto’s entire crop.
Mamuto AB is one grade below AA but doesn’t falter on flavor. There is less uniformity in bean size, but notes of plum and ripe blackberry still resonate throughout the cup. Where AA may have bolder acidity, AB creates a balanced cup that begins bright and fades into smooth chocolate notes.