Staffs of FTOK as found in the coffee lab of Beanstitute enjoying their practical class session. Photo: Beanstitute
Beanstitute ─ The coffee specialty institution based in Nairobi, Kenya that aimed to offer internationally recognized coffee education to its students specially designed to empower them to advance their education and careers. As a center for coffee quality advancement, education and linkage; they defined coffee not just a drink but more widely as a culture, a science, an economy, an art and a passion that is enjoyed all over the world.
In collaboration with the Authorized SCA Trainer (AST), Ms. Régine L. Guion-Firmin of the Perky Blenders Training Academy in London, UK aim on bringing the first ever SCA Educational Programs in Nairobi. The programs are accredited, recognized and certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).
Ms. Sophie Mukua, the Executive Director of Fair Trade Organization of Kenya (FTOK); a networking and capacity building organization said, “The evolution of Beanstitute (as an affiliate of FTOK) was much based on the fact that coffee farmers don’t know the profile of their produce hence getting unsatisfactory prices. Without understanding what makes a good cup, smallholder coffee farmers are unable to tell which aspects of their farming activities should be improved to entitle better market prices”
She added, “It was once tricky to implement the whole concept of Beanstitute on the ground especially on delivering the accepted global standards coffee education until I met the incredible Ms. Régine L. Guion-Firmin. Since then everything seems much easier to blend our minds and resources to make the long awaited dream a reality in East Africa soil”.
On the other hand, Ms. Régine L. Guion-Firmin was quoted expressing how passionate she is to make this project happen as “Last November 2016, after passing my SCA Green Coffee Professional, I asked Henry Wilson, of Perfect Daily Grind to put me in contact with coffee people at origin. He put me in contact with Sophie Mukua from the Fair Trade Organization of Kenya (FTOK), a NGO who supports smallholder farmers and small to medium size co-ops. As soon Sophie talked to me about her deep desire to bring SCA education to Kenyan farmers in order to improve their yield at the lowest cost as possible for the farmers, I just loved the idea”.
By mutual efforts, commitment, dedication and overcoming challenges along the way, the anticipated dream is almost a reality one since the Beanstitute classroom and coffee laboratory are well settled and furnished at 5th floor Kalson tower in Westland, Nairobi. This is great opportunity for people across East Africa region and beyond to advance their coffee knowledge and experience in a most adventurous way and at affordable price from the baseline of awesome Kenyan coffee. The enrollment for the upcoming October classes has already opened for students to register. For further information about the registration process, courses and fees kindly visit their website at http://beanstitute.net/ and find them on facebook at https://web.facebook.com/beanstitute/ and https://web.facebook.com/KaribuKahawa/ respectively.