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Do you Know Your Joe?

2012 February 23
by Ryan

In the food world right now, there’s a serious  push towards the farm-to-table concept. You get all the information about the farm in which your meal was created. You know when the greens for your salad was harvested, where the cow your steak came from was raised and on what feed, and every other random tidbit of information that the chef can find.

So why is it not like that in the coffee world? Heck, even the wine world is getting specific with vineyard, grape varietals, and the like.

Yet us here in the coffee world are supposedly stuck in the “Here’s some Colombian. What more do you need?” mode.

No more.

Our goal from day one has been to give you the most information that we can about the coffee we’re serving. As we’ve grown and made more contacts, we have been put into a place where we can gather information about the coffees that most–nay all–the roasters in the Springs can’t–or won’t–give you.

Sure, we all know that your coffee mug in the morning is more equipped to be your Caffeine Delivery System versus a spot to know what varietal of Arabica bean is in that cup, but there’s nothing wrong with knowing, right?

Why is this so important? Knowing the deep information about the farm, type of coffee, altitude, and all the other goodies implies that the farmers are making the best money possible.  Our importers are in these farmer’s fields, talking with them, negotiating prices, and assisting them however possible to increase the cup quality of their product. When you pay for a pound of this coffee, we pay the importer, who in turn pays the farmer. No other hands are in the pot.

What about Fair Trade? Doesn’t that do the same? Nope. There are documented cases where farmers end up making less money when in a Fair Trade setting! (Here’s proof) There are just too many hands in the pot. Doesn’t sound too fair, huh? Fair Trade is a start–but it’s far from the best.

Only when you’re working directly with the farmers are you ensuring they are paid the best–and what they’re worth.

Let me show you what I’m talking about here…

Meet Sr. Rodolfo Lopez. This gentlemen owns his own farm in Colombia: El Jardin. His four hectare farm is in the Monserrate region of Colombia. He is able to produce 6 150-lb bags of coffee per growing cycle. We have three of them. This coffee has a great mellow cherry and brown sugar tonality throughout the cup. This is not your typical Colombia. Want to know more about this coffee and see pictures of the Monserrate village? We have that information.

We are committed to giving you biographical information about every coffee we carry. We’re not 100% yet, but we’re working on it. Soon, we will have KYJ sheets just as detailed as Sr. Lopez’s for many of the coffees. For right now:

Go ahead, I dare you: ask any other roaster here in the springs for detailed information about the specific farm their coffee comes from. Not the co-op, mind you, the farm. Or the varietal of the coffee tree, the altitude at which it’s grown, or the processing method used to clean and dry the coffee bean. If you can find one here, I’ll be surprised.

Getting your shiny red bag filled with our coffees ensures that not only will you Know Your Joe, but you’ll know you’re helping the farmer. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Kat says:

Yeah! Another great post, Ryan. Thank you. :)