Mythical origin, historical spread…
Many people are unaware that the coffee tree was first discovered in the African forest of Ethiopia. Legend has it that in these forests a goat herder named Kaldi noticed his herd eating the cherries from a certain tree, afterward they became energetic and could not sleep that night.
So, he took the fruit to a monk who then made a drink with it, subsequently, he could not sleep that night. The fruit then traveled to a monastery in Yemen, and through several trade routes, coffee expanded the globe as we know it.
But did you know that coffee trees do not and cannot grow just anywhere? Focusing on the Arabica variety, the sensitivity of this tree only lends its fruit to climates that are frost and drought-free. Where can you find this perfectly temperate climate you may ask? Within the coffee belt!
Coffee plants grow in approximately 80 different countries inside what is commonly called the “Coffee Belt”. This is the area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Within these latitudes are three regions known as “The Americas”, “Africa”, and “Indo-Pacific” where all the world’s coffee is grown.
Yes, there are efforts to grow coffee in areas outside of this belt (looking at you U.K.), but they can never meet the same level of quality and yield of that which occurs naturally. Now, don’t say you never learned anything ;^)
It’s the beverage that starts our day. Some like it black, some prefer a mixologist worthy creation, and most think of it as the flavor additive to cream and sugar. It’s literally the most consumed beverage in the world! Over 450 million cups of it are consumed daily in the US and 400 billion cups consumed worldwide, that’s A LOT of caffeinated (or decaffeinated, whatever) people walking around.
But for a large portion of the world, it’s not a cup of mental fuel, but a botanical that fuels the livelihood of millions. 80% of the world’s coffee is produced by smallholder farms, these are farms that are less than five acres in size. Popular opinion is that they only exist in developing countries, but the truth is that these farms are common in both developing and developed countries. Their labor depends on family participation; with many of the farms being passed down through generations for hundreds of years.
The harvesting is done by hand, with pickers selecting the ripe fruit off each tree. They take the time to make sure they are adhering to the best practices throughout the farming process, which results in fantastic quality! Comparingly is the high production farms who mass produce low-quality Arabica and use highly commercialized facilities and machinery to harvest fruit quickly and efficiently to meet scale. This process, while only contributing 20% to the global market, is commodity-grade and you can find it on nearly any supermarket shelf. There’s a place for everyone, but it’s no wonder specialty coffee is highly sought after!
The goal is to educate our community on sustainable coffee farming and why it matters. Sustainable coffee practices are an essential part of the longevity of small family-owned farms. This practice allows farmers to produce higher quality beans and increase crop levels. The other side is when we choose to purchase fair-trade it assures you that the farmers are receiving fair value for coffee while maintaining their labor and production efforts.
Through our passion for roasting coffee, we intend to do our part in supporting small farms and their families. Enjoy a cup with us!