We source and roast shade-grown, speciality-grade coffee from the ancient lands of southern India.
Heritage in a cup
India is a land steeped in history, myths and legends. One such legend has it that in the 17th century, a saint named Baba Budan secretly carried seven coffee beans from Yemen, Arabia and brought it to India.
He was returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, and with the holiest of intentions, planted these seven beans in the hills of Chikmagalur in Karnataka, South India. Today, those magical coffee beans have evolved into sixteen distinct varieties cultivated across thirteen geographical regions.
Four centuries on, coffee in this ancient land is still grown as nature intended.
Rich in taste and aroma
Coffee plantations in India are Narnia-like fruit and spice worlds.
Here, coffee shares space with aromatic spices such as pepper, ginger, cloves and cardamom, and are often grown in the shade of fruit trees such as those of oranges, mangoes, bananas and jackfruit. The harvested coffee beans take on some of these exotic flavour notes.
Also, shade-grown coffee cherries mature slowly allowing the bean within to develop a subtle yet complex flavour profile.
What you have is a brew that puts a smile on your face with hints of dark chocolate, caramel, forest fruits and warming spices.
Shade-grown agroforestry practices make coffees of India not just exotic and exciting, but also sustainable.
Coffee is in crisis
Did you know that the coffee shrub is an understory?
That is, it is a plant that requires the shade of trees to flourish. For hundreds of years this is how coffee was historically cultivated, just as nature intended.
With rising coffee consumption in the 1970s, sun-tolerant strains of coffee were developed which produced higher yields.
The problem is, a sun-grown farm has a lifespan of only 15 years after which new land is sought out, rainforests are razed, and the vicious cycle of deforestation and biodiversity loss begins.
The problem does not just end here.
Top coffee producing countries such as Brazil and Vietnam use intense sun-grown farming techniques. The last few years have seen the coffee prices plummet due to over-production in these regions forcing small-holder farmers in other coffee growing regions to sell their coffees at a loss.
Shade-grown agroforestry is a nature-based climate solution
With shade-grown coffee, conservation of our forests and biodiversity of our planet is literally a sip away.
The shade providing trees fight climate change by sequestering carbon, and protect bio-diversity by providing critical foraging habitat for birds, mammals and vital pollinators.
Shade-grown cultivation methods also offer sustainable livelihoods to small-holder farmers.
The impact your morning cup of (shade-grown) joe has on human beings and their eco-systems is profound.
Whether it's the small-holder farmers or the pollinators, the economy or the environment, shade-grown coffee is where all roads lead to.
To know more about the conservation potential of shade-grown coffee or about climate-smart agriculture, reach out to us via the contact form.