I came across this article about Fair Trade at the Oromia Cooperative in Ethiopia. The article touches on a Fairtrade Climate Standard to help farmers acquire an alternative stove – to replace the traditional ‘three-stone’ fire. Given the cooperative’s focus on coffee, the new stoves are destined for coffee producers. The stoves mean that there is less need for gathering of firewood, ergo more time for other activities, less pressure on the standing forest, and less smoke in the home. While there are all sorts of additional spokes to the wheel of combatting climate change, this is one positive effort for a coffee producing cooperative. And, this particular cooperative produce some excellent organic coffee beans, which we enjoy roasting and brewing. Groups like FairTrade International and 1% For Women provide great opportunity for agriculturalists worldwide, and especially women farmers. We at the Roastery are proud members of both groups.
Nutty, chocolate, herbaceous, flowery, rich, full, fruity, spicy â€“ these are all words we use when attempting to describe that magical flavor of brewed coffee that most of us know all too well. But few of us really know much about the plant itself.
Coffee plants are kept no larger than five meters tall in cultivation and produce fruits called â€œdrupesâ€ which resemble berries. Inside the drupe is the green bean used to make our favorite drink. Coffee plants usually produce their first fruits two to four years after planting and can produce as little as one pound of dry beans and as much as ten pounds each year, depending on the climate and the plant itself. For this reason it takes a boatload of commitment and care for coffee production.
There are two main species of shrubs cultivated for our drinking pleasure: Coffea robusta and Coffea arabica. Here at The Buena Vista Roastery, we believe that starting with the highest quality raw ingredients available is the only way to create a product we can be proud of and so we use only specialty grade C. arabica for our coffees. This specific â€œArabica coffeeâ€ is believed to have originated in Ethiopia, while the first record of its actual consumption was in Yemen, located on the Arabian Peninsula.
One of our favorite coffees here at The Roastery is our Yemen Mocha Sanani. In its name, the â€œMochaâ€ refers not to chocolate, but to the port of Mokha on the Red Sea which is the main port for trade out of Yemen’s capital of Sana’a. This coffee is considered a â€œheritage coffeeâ€ because it most closely resembles the coffee first consumed in Yemen in the 15th century. The coffee, when roasted is beautifully varied from one bean to the next. The flavor is wonderfully nutty and spicy. Here at The Roastery, we love to brew up a pot of this exotic coffee on a snowy day like today and enjoy not only its balanced flavor and subtleties, but also the history that is inevitably brewed up in every pot.