Our First Direct Trade Coffee: Columbia Sierra Nevada
We are so excited to announce our first Direct Trade Coffee- our Columbia Sierra Nevada! If you’re unfamiliar with the term direct trade, it means that we buy these beans directly from a farm, cutting out a lot of middle men that are involved in coffee bean purchasing. Instead of inflated bean costs that go to all the people in between, higher premiums equals higher quality.
This allows more of the profits from selling the beans to go directly to the farm and the people who work on it. It also allows roasters like us to build a relationship with the farmer and to know more about what to expect from the beans we are purchasing. In the case of this particular coffee, we’ve found the beans to be high quality and are excited for people to try it! The beans are from Finca Buena Vista, or in English “Good View Farm” in the village of Minca which is located near the northern shore of Columbia. Owned by Eneil Bayona, the farm is Rainforest Alliance certified, which means they meet environmental, social (regarding treatment of workers), and economic (how they pay their workers) requirements. Eneil is heavily involved in his region and works with neighboring producers to pilot new planting programs and test new varietals of coffee.
Along with being certified organic, Finca Buena Vista is also Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) certified. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s pretty cool! In much of the coffee growing world, forest habitat is destroyed to grow coffee in the sun. Instead of clearing rain forest, Bird Friendly coffees grow underneath shade trees that provide habitat for birds. Some of the migratory birds that use these trees travel back to the U.S. from Latin America, which means some of the birds we see around us may have spent time living in the trees around where your coffee is grown! For more information on Bird Friendly Coffee please visit the Smithsonian's National Zoo site.
This isn’t only good news for the birds and the environment, it allows farmers like Eneil to charge higher premiums for his beans which benefits the people working on the farm and the surrounding community. Note- many coffee experts prefer coffee grown in the shade because the beans ripen slower than coffee grown in the full sun, resulting in a richer, more complex flavor.