Simon Gikunda Interview: Connecting Source to Roast / by Amanda Jones

Meet Simon Gikunda Zaverio. Our man in Kenya, Simon is the grower behind this month's Kenyan single origin. Working from Gikunda Farm near Nkubu in Meru Province, Simon has taken the intrinsic qualities of the Arabica K7 varietal to produce a harvest that has been classified as Kenya AA+, the highest classification from this growing region. While this partly comes from his location at between 1600-1700 metres above sea level and the high yield qualities of the volcanic soils there, we can only say that Simon has brought something special to the coffee.
We were lucky enough to meet with Simon last December when Head of Training and Innovation Kevin Crouse and Head of Creative Toni Veziris visited Kenya. Part of our philosophy of reducing the barriers between the grower and the consumer, developing personal relationships with the growers that we source our coffee from enables a better return for the grower and more complex and nuanced flavours for the coffee drinker. We hope this is one of many future collaborations between Black Drum Roasters and Simon Gikunda Zaverio.