This organic, Smithsonian-certified, shade grown coffee grows on small farms, on the western slopes of the Andes, in Peru’s Chanchamayo region. It is a strictly high grown (4-5K feet above sea level), 100% Arabica coffee. This particular farm is certified ‘Bird Friendly’ by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, which supports shade grown coffees. Shade trees, also commonly referred to as a canopy, provide a home to countless species of migratory birds, including the songbird.
Peru’s songbirds have been severely threatened since the 1970s when farmers destroyed their habitat to clear land for additional coffee plants. Supply was low and prices were high, increasing farmers’ temptation to increase crop yield — even at the expense of these beautiful, sonorous creatures. In 1998, the Smithsonian introduced the Bird Friendly coffee program which fosters and educates farmers on farm management practices that are both profitable and healthy for migratory birds. Coffee grown under the program is certified shade grown and organic and every purchase contributes to the Smithsonian’s migratory bird conservation efforts. When you purchase Bird Friendly coffee, you can be assured that the coffee is cultivated, harvested, and processed in socially and environmentally conscientious ways. Benefits include:
- Managing shade trees and other on-farm vegetation to conserve biodiversity.
- Protecting waterways (buffer zones along streams, for example) and sources of drinking water.
- Reducing soil erosion through shade management, employing agronomic techniques and planting on hills with appropriate slopes.
- Eliminating pesticide and chemical fertilizer use through use of biological control and other organic practices.
- Using a pruning regime that has minimal impact on biological diversity.
- Guaranteeing fair and stable prices for producers.
- Ensuring adequate wages, housing, and health care for workers.
- Providing access to markets for all producers, irrespective of farm size.
In addition to providing a safe habitat for migratory birds, shade trees also protect coffee plants from extreme weather conditions and premature ripening of coffee cherries. In contrast to the bitterness of sun grown coffee, shade grown beans are smooth with well-developed, complex flavor profiles.
Our organic Peru dark is full-bodied and roasted to a rich, chocolaty vienna-french shade that closes with hints of smooth apricot and vanilla. We keep this dark roast on the lighter side to protect and preserve the beans’ natural brightness. The Peru dark is an indulgent, refined, sustainable, estate-grown coffee that all coffee lovers should try!
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