We’ve been quite fortunate to welcome many new customers into the Jim’s Organic Coffee world. And we’re beyond thankful for that. So with September (Organic Month) upon us, we thought we’d take a moment to look at some of the reasons why we collectively choose organic products and organic coffee in particular.
In our view, it’s primarily taste. But taste can be so much more than simply cup quality. It’s where a product comes from, how it’s grown, and how it is brought to market. I liken great organic coffee to the tomato you get in the summertime. Not the chain store one – the one you buy at the farm stand and say “Ahh! THAT’s how a tomato is supposed to taste.”
Of course how it’s grown is so vital to organic. Organic by definition means grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. In order to make great organic coffee, it’s not about what you don’t use, but the care and ecosystem necessary to make a healthy plant and thus great coffee.
I’ve been able to visit most but not all the places we buy from. And it’s worth mentioning that most of the relationships we have with growers and grower groups go back well over a decade. They know who we are and that we are there for them year after year. They know we want their best and are willing to pay for it.
So here are just a few tidbits I’ve learned over the years that help make great organic coffee. And while we love that you’re enjoying Jim’s Organic Coffee day after day, we hope that some insight into where it comes from can only better your experience.
Shade & Biodiversity
Our coffee is all shade grown. This might be as simple as shade cover that prevents the sun’s heat from reducing nutrients in the soil, to a complex ecosystem where a many layered canopy is home to hundreds of bird species, as well as insects, slugs, and other helpful critters.
An interesting note on shade is that there is such a thing as too much shade. In Guatemala for instance, our farmer group there was pruning their shade trees to allow more sun on the trees and thus reduce harmful coffee ‘rust’ – a fungus that has been devastating to coffee crops.
Deep topsoil leads to longer root structures which leads to cleaner coffee. To improve topsoil, farmers plant clover-like plantings which prevent rain runoff. The leaves from the shade trees also decompose into the soil, adding nutrients.
Rather than spraying for pests, the traps pictured here are used. I’ve seen them all over the world. These traps catch coffee ‘broca’ by giving the broca ripe cherries and sugar water to feed on; thus leaving the rest of the crop alone.
I could go on and on. But wanted to pass this along as a Thank You and to hopefully shed some more light on where your coffee comes from.