When I was recently working on a post for our blog and wrote about organic cultivation, organic coffee, fairness, fairtrade prices, and so on for the umpteen time – at least that’s what it felt like – I thought:
How great would it be if I did not have to do this anymore. If there was no need any more to talk about a respectful way of treating nature, other humans, resources. If there was no need for writing this blog. Or if I could at least simply write about the phenomenal 800 aromas of coffees and how to develop them to the full. Because organic farming, fairness, fairtrade, respect, and the like would be “normal”. Standard. And we could just completely focus on our coffee.
We are not there yet, but we are on a good track. And it starts with the coffee farmers.
The work of a coffee farmer is tremendous – tremendously hard, requires a tremendous amount of responsibility and is, above all, the foundation of a delicious coffee. After all, bad beans cannot be saved by great roasting.
The coffee farmer is not only responsible for washing the coffee cherries, to remove the pulp, to ferment, and to dry them. He needs harvest workers who he can trust. Because they can distinguish between a ripe and an unripe coffee cherry, between a good and a bad bean. And he is responsible for the coffee plants. For their growth, the trimming, the fertilizer/compost, the maintenance, the land, the productivity. He is responsible for the profitability of his farm. For the proceeds and the wages. For the people who depend on him. He is many things: Entrepreneur, caretaker, specialist – expert for unique taste.
That is why we treat “our” coffee farmers with respect and work on eye level. We pay fair trade prices, or we help with the prefinancing for, for example, new fermentation tanks or other equipment, as we did with the Demeter cultivation at La Chacra D’Dago. That is the financial side.
The other side is called trust. Trust in the knowledge and know-how of, for example, Dagoberto Marin, who runs his own biodynamic coffee farm with his family in Peru. We met him by chance in Peru in 2008. And we were impressed by him and his family and by his high standards for cultivation and dealing with nature. After 3 years, in 2011, we were able to start with the first Mount Hagen Demeter coffee*. The aromas of this single origin or better single estate are fascinating. Hazelnut meets chocolate. Fine acidity, a slight sweetness. Mild but still a full body. Not an Arabica blend with different beans complementing each other, but beans of the same type, which are so complex and refined that they can be turned into a single origin. And all of that is solely due to Dagoberto and his team. Respect, fairness, and appreciation simply have a very special aroma.
If you like to learn more about Demeter coffee, its cultivation and advantages for, for example, the environment, we recommend reading the article “Esoteric or meaningful?” in our rubric “organic coffees”. Just browse a little through that section to get a better understanding of how much respect a really good coffee deserves.
*Our Demeter coffee is not yet available in all countries.