September is Organic Month and a perfect time to fully appreciate all that our organic coffee farmers do to provide us with the highest quality organic coffee. Achieving “organic” requires years of planning and much patience.
Coffee is the second most traded commodity behind crude oil. To keep up with demand, most farmers use pesticides and fertilizers, making coffee the second most sprayed crop in the world (cotton being number one). While coffee grows anywhere between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (basically, around the equator), specific environmental conditions such as temperature, altitude, rainfall, sunlight, wind and soil will impact quality and taste. The regions with many ideal coffee growing conditions house some of the poorest, under-developed and under-educated communities in the world. As a result, the workers who use chemicals often don’t know how to apply them properly and may also be completely unaware of the dangers from these poisons.
This is just one of the many reasons we are dedicated 100% to organic coffee. We are Certified Organic by both the USDA and Oregon Tilth, which by definition means grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers – and that they’re non-GMO.
Coffee trees can take up to five years to produce their first harvest. The non-organic coffee farmer may try to force earlier, chemically-induced blooms while the patient, organic farmer uses more creative, all-natural methods to nurture their crops from the ground up.
They start with the soil.
Organic coffee is hand-picked, then milled with a wet or a dry process. After milling, the green coffee bean is extracted from the outer shell, which is otherwise known as pergamino. Instead of throwing the pergamino away as other farmers may do, organic farmers use it to develop a deep, rich mulch. They then add in other nitrogen rich, natural elements to the organic compost and turn it for an entire year before spreading around the base of the coffee trees. Talk about patience! This allows each plant to develop a longer root structure, improve moisture content, reduce soil erosion and results in a clean taste. Putting the soil back where it belongs also helps the biodiversity of the coffee farm, attracting more insects and birds.
Organic month is a perfect time to thank our organic coffee farmers. Their hard work, respect for their ecosystem, and patient planning provides us with the highest quality organic coffee on the planet!