Sunday, November 14, 2004

Strictly Hard Beans Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Mountain People

These gentle mountain people need a fair price for their coffee. The surprising secret is that theirs air the best beans but hard to get to. The hand picking and processing adds to the quality and selection. These are SHB, strictly hard beans shade grown at the higher altitudes, the highest quality designation.

The challenge lies in getting the money to the families and getting the coffee to the city for processing, roasting and shipping. With many of the programs the money has a way of disappearing before it gets to the family. The cooperativa helps, but even then ---.

I love these people and I love their coffee. By careful planning we can fly fresh roasted coffee north and distribute through our non profit affiliates at a modest price.

Perhaps the environment gains the most. In contrast to the slash and burn cultivation in other areas, these coffee trees grow beneath the canopy of volcanic mountain rain forests. Chemicals are not needed at the higher altitudes. Only organic mulches and fertilizers combine with the rich volcanic soil to grow these cherries slowly to their full maturity. That too may account for the wonderful flavor and lingering taste, typical, I think, of volcanic mountain coffee in other places. This area is in the Northern mountains of Guatemala.

At the risk of sounding like the chamber of commerce I would highly recommend Antigua and Lake Atitlan.