Bean, noun (also coffee bean): Strictly speaking, coffee beans are not beans, but rather the seed or seeds of the coffee berry (fruit of the coffee plant). They are located in the red pulp with their flattened sides facing each other. Each seed (bean) has a thin silvery skin, which is covered by a parchment skin, covered by a layer of pectin, which in turn is surrounded by the pulp. Before the berry becomes a coffee bean, all of that needs to be carefully removed. (see also: processing.) A mature coffee tree produces approximately 2.2-4.4 lbs. of beans per year.


Casuarina, noun: A species of beech that grows in forests whose branches resemble horsetails. They are used as shade trees in coffee gardens in Papua New Guinea.


Coca, noun: A bush/shrub. It grows on the eastern hillsides of the Andes in Peru, Bolivia and Columbia between 1000 and 6500 feet above sea level. It is the raw material behind cocaine. “Mate de coca,” also called coca tea, is a traditional drink in the Andes. It’s available prepackaged in many supermarkets. Since the tea mixture contains plant parts from the coca plant, these are subject to the German Narcotics Act, which is why simply possessing or importing a tea bag is a criminal offense. There were and are a number of anti-drug programs, but these have not prevented cultivation. However, we have succeeded in convincing many small farms that organic coffee cultivation is more lucrative over the long term.


Coffee, noun: From the Arabic “qahwah,” meaning stimulating drink. It is a (usually) hot, black caffeinated drink made from roasted and ground coffee beans, the seeds from the coffee berry. In 1614, the Dutch started out on a research trip to Aden in Yemen and stole a coffee plant. They succeeded in transporting coffee sprouts to the Netherlands and cultivating these on the island of Java in 1699. Coffee became one of the most popular drinks in the world. Note: In 1660, James Howell wrote: “Tis found already that this coffee drink hath caused a greater sobriety among the Nations. Whereas formerly apprentices and clerks with others, used to take their mornings draught in ale, beer, or wine, which by the dizziness they cause in the brain, make many unfit for businesse, they use now to play the good-fellows in this wakefull and civill drink.”

Coffee berry

Coffee berry, noun: Fruit of the evergreen coffee plant (can grow up to 60 feet high, pruned down to a maximum of 10 feet). They ripen on our Arabicas up to ten months; only the ripe, red berries are harvested. When they are unripe, they are green to yellow and hardly have any flavor. Overripe, black coffee berries, or rather their beans, taste foul. Each coffee bean makes up one side of the seed of the coffee berry. An estimate of 15 billion coffee trees grow on all coffee plantations throughout the world.

Coffee garden

Coffee garden, noun: Not a synonym for a café or the like, but rather a small coffee cultivation of 10-30 coffee trees with shade trees, crops and farm animals. Often located on hillsides and in natural mixed forests (wild coffee gardens). Generally, coffee is cultivated organically here without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.


Cultivation, noun (also coffee cultivation): Coffee plants require a balanced climate, plenty of rain, a lot of shade and a nutrient-rich soil. The best conditions for this can be found near the equator. In principle, there are two forms: Organic and conventional cultivation. The most important differences: Organic means no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, and harvesting by hand. Organic cultivation is mostly carried out by small farm cooperatives, often under fair trade conditions. Conventional cultivation generally means large plantations, use of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers as well as contamination of the soil, water and inhabitants due to chemicals and soil erosion.


EP, abbreviation: Stands for “European Preparation”. This means that the beans are processed and washed directly after the harvest on site by hand. They may not fall below a specific minimum size.

Farmers association

Farmers association, noun (also growers association and producers association): is an association of organic farmers and processors. Most of them adhere to organic standards that are well above those set by the EU. The first farmers association was Demeter founded 1924.