+254721896013 or  +254722303876 hello@njemucoffee.com

Our Heritage

The formation of NJEMU was driven by the unique backgrounds and experiences of its founders, Simon Nyaga and Irene Wangui Nyaga.

Simon Nyaga, the estate founder, had to take on significant responsibilities at a young age after losing his mother. As the eldest son in his family, he was entrusted with supporting his ten younger siblings. To make ends meet, Simon worked in coffee farms, earning wages and gaining valuable experience in agriculture. His time working on these farms ignited a deep passion for agriculture. This passion motivated him to further his education in agricultural matters. He pursued a University degree in agriculture and also obtained a Plantation Management certificate from Crainfield University in Silsoe, UK. Simon’s academic and practical experience in agriculture laid the foundation for NJEMU’s agricultural endeavors.

Irene Wangui Nyaga, the estate’s co-director, had a childhood closely intertwined with coffee farming. She was raised and educated by a coffee farmer, which exposed her to the various tasks and intricacies of coffee cultivation from a young age. Irene’s hands-on experience in coffee farming and her upbringing in a coffee-farming family provided her with extensive knowledge in coffee farming practices. This knowledge has proven to be invaluable, particularly in her role in managing human resources within NJEMU.

Together, Simon and Irene combined their expertise and backgrounds in agriculture and coffee farming to form NJEMU. Their shared passion for agriculture, complemented by Simon’s education and Irene’s practical experience, laid the foundation for their venture. This partnership allowed them to leverage their unique skills and knowledge to create and manage NJEMU successfully.

In 1998, Njemu Coffee Estate was established. The name “Njemu” is derived from the names of the directors’ sons, Njeru and Muchiri, symbolizing a personal connection to their venture.

Through NJEMU Coffee Estate, Simon and Irene aimed to not only improve the livelihoods of coffee workers but also challenge the stereotypes associated with the industry. Their dedication to modernizing coffee farming and their passion for agriculture drove the creation of NJEMU, marking the beginning of their journey to redefine the coffee farming landscape.

The journey of NJEMU Coffee Estate from conventional coffee farming to becoming a leading producer of specialty coffee is a remarkable story.

From its founding in 1998, NJEMU Coffee Estate initially focused on farming and processing coffee for sale through various agents. However, in 2014, the estate made a pivotal decision to transition into the specialty coffee market in response to the demands of its clients. This shift towards producing specialty coffee was a significant undertaking, and it became apparent that meeting the exacting specialty standards would require unwavering dedication and commitment across all aspects of coffee production, from the farm to processing and storage.

During the same year, NJEMU Coffee Estate was introduced to Counter Culture Coffee (CCC) by Peter John from Kamavindi Estate. Counter Culture Coffee is renowned for its commitment to sourcing exceptional single-origin and specialty coffee. This partnership with CCC provided NJEMU with valuable insights and knowledge about the specialty coffee industry.

Recognizing the need for excellence at every stage of production, NJEMU Coffee Estate invested in intensive training programs for its managers and coffee berry pickers. These training initiatives were designed to impart best practices and elevate the quality of their coffee.

The hard work and perseverance paid off in the 2018/2019 season when NJEMU Coffee Estate successfully achieved the demanding specialty coffee standards. Notably, they addressed a significant shortcoming related to “fermentation timing.” This achievement was a testament to their commitment to producing high-quality coffee.

It’s worth mentioning that NJEMU Coffee Estate’s commitment to quality extended to their processing methods. They processed each season’s crop according to the coffee variety, ensuring uniformity. This attention to detail and precision in processing contributed to the consistency and quality of their coffee.

After four years of hard work and dedication, NJEMU Coffee Estate proudly presented its first batch of specialty coffee to CCC. This marked a significant milestone in their journey.

In 2019, their efforts were recognized when they secured first place in the SUCAFINA quality awards in the Best Cupping Small Estate category. This accolade solidified NJEMU Coffee Estate’s reputation as a leading producer of specialty coffee in the country.

The transformation of NJEMU Coffee Estate from a conventional coffee farm to a specialty coffee producer exemplifies the dedication, commitment, and pursuit of excellence that have become integral to their success in the specialty coffee industry.

Their dedication to excellence has been recognized by working with esteemed green coffee buyers and specialty coffee roasters. Partnering with high and respected names like SEY COFFEE in Brooklyn, New York, reflects NJEMU’s commitment to supplying exceptional coffee to discerning consumers. SEY COFFEE’s recognition as the Best Coffee Shop of the US by Food & Wine in 2019 adds to the prestige of this collaboration.

NJEMU Coffee Estate’s reach extends to the West Coast of the United States as well, where they have worked with Unity Sourcing and Roasting, a wholesale roaster and coffee subscription service based in Los Angeles. This partnership highlights NJEMU’s commitment to providing quality coffee to diverse markets.

Their international collaborations also include Pilot Coffee Roasters in Canada. Pilot Coffee Roasters is a specialty roaster with cafes in Toronto and the surrounding area. This partnership demonstrates NJEMU’s dedication to expanding its reach and impact in the global specialty coffee market.

Their partnership with Louis Dreyfus Company has provided NJEMU with access to a wider network of buyers and markets, facilitating their entry and growth in the specialty coffee sector. Louis Dreyfus Company’s expertise and industry connections may have also contributed to NJEMU’s ability to consistently meet the demanding standards of the specialty coffee market.

Overall, NJEMU Coffee Estate’s journey is a testament to their unwavering commitment to producing high-quality coffee and their ability to collaborate with industry leaders to bring their exceptional product to coffee enthusiasts around the world. Their story serves as an inspiration to others in the coffee industry who aspire to achieve excellence and recognition in the specialty coffee market.

  1. Expansion: From its humble beginnings with 2,500 coffee bushes, NJEMU Coffee Estate has significantly expanded its operations to encompass a total of 10,000 coffee bushes. This expansion demonstrates their dedication to increasing their coffee production capacity to meet growing demands.
  2. Diversification of Coffee Variety: NJEMU Coffee Estate has diversified its coffee variety, with the SL variety dominating about 90% of their coffee bushes. Diversification can be a strategic move to enhance the flavor profile and resilience of their coffee crop. Different coffee varieties can offer unique flavor characteristics and adaptability to varying environmental conditions.
  3. Quality Coffee Production: The recognition by q-graders that NJEMU Coffee Estate is producing high-quality coffee rich in caramel, chocolate, and fruit notes is a testament to their commitment to producing exceptional coffee. These flavor notes are highly desirable in the specialty coffee market and indicate meticulous attention to detail in cultivation and processing.
  4. Investment in Processing Infrastructure: NJEMU Coffee Estate’s transition from relying on cooperative union factories for coffee processing to establishing its wet pulping station and storage signifies a significant step toward greater control over the quality and consistency of their coffee. Owning and managing their processing facilities allows for more precise control over processing methods and ensures that their coffee meets the highest standards.

Overall, the growth, diversification, and commitment to quality demonstrated by NJEMU Coffee Estate are indicative of their dedication to becoming a leading player in the specialty coffee industry. Their efforts have allowed them to not only expand their operations but also refine their coffee production processes to consistently deliver high-quality coffee that meets the expectations of discerning consumers and industry experts.