“Rain or Shine” and it was rain all day for Staff of Life’s 50th Anniversary event. Patti and Max from Alta Organic along with Inda from Cafe del Sol, served up hot, certified shade grown coffee from Guatemala to hundreds of grateful attendees … Nothing like a hot cup of “joe” on a rainy day!
A blurb from a poem called “Ways to Take Your Coffee” by Leath Tonino made me think of when Max Spooner, Patti Spooner’s son, went camping in the Eastern Sierras and, of course, brought some Alta Organic Coffee with him.
“With ancient mountains all around and an ancient mountain beneath you and the climb still burning your legs and clouds building on the horizon, a storm coming for sure, but you’ve got time, you and your best friend, plenty of time to fire up the stove and brew a strong pot and trade sips back and forth while two golden eagles circle, circle the summit, never once flapping their wings.”
We received this sweet email from one of our Slowcoast coffee fans. Thank you for writing to us and telling us what you love about Alta Organic Coffee’s Slowcoast blend.
“Hello--just wanted to let you know how much my boyfriend and I love your Slow Coast coffee. It has such a wonderful, rich, complex flavor. We now notice how many other coffees seem very "flat" in comparison. We were recently out of town on vacation and I packed the Slow Roast coffee but forgot to grind it before we left. We didn't have a grinder where we were staying, so we bought a couple of different ground (and fairly expensive) coffees at the local store. Neither of the coffees we bought had anywhere near the full flavor of your coffee, and we were happy to come home and get a good cup Slow Roast when we returned! Keep up the great work!”
If you’ve ventured into our shop to peruse our selection of beans, you may have noticed some of the varietals are labeled “bird-friendly”. This often raises a question with customers -- how can the coffee help birds, and how is it different from organic? It all has to do with the style of farming.
Here at Alta, we sell shade-grown coffee, a method using agroforestry that keeps a diverse array of plant and tree species growing amongst the coffee plants. This approach is drastically different to full-sun coffee, which clears acres of land and destroys natural habitats.
Every year, approximately 120 different species of migratory birds head south from North America to a milder winter in the tropics. Countries such as Guatemala, our featured coffee for this month, are part of the Mesoamerican Biological Bird Corridor. This area provides shelter and food for 10% of birds across the globe. Species like the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Magnolia Warbler and Chimney Swift all make the journey each year. Many of these birds we consider to be native to North America, when in reality they spend more of their time each year in Central America. This is why maintaining their tropical habitat is so important.
To be certified bird-friendly, farms must first be certified organic, as pesticides are very harmful to birds. They must also “meet bird-friendly standards that include a 40% canopy cover, and a certain number of tree species and shrub density in their crops”, as the Smithsonian requires.
Next time you drink Alta Organic Coffee, you can feel good about your choice to promote sustainable coffee farming and help save thousands of birds from habitat destruction!