The key to growing some of the finest coffee beans in the world is altitude. Generally speaking, beans grown at 1,200 meters (4,000 ft.) or higher are denser, harder beans which are considered to be of higher quality than softer beans grown at lower elevations.
Faster drainage means coffee plants soak up less water which helps reduce how fat their cherries become; which in turn gives African coffee its exotic aromatic rich notes of fruit or floral. Their acidity may fall anywhere between that of a nice merlot or a tannic British breakfast tea.
Higher Concentration of Sugars
Beans grown at higher elevations have a longer maturation process which provides more time for complex sugars to develop.
Fewer coffee plants can survive at these altitudes which means a higher yield, a healthier bean, exotic flavors and natural sweetness.
Family Owned Farms
We hope you are as excited as we are in promoting family owned farms. There is something to be said for the extra care and attention to detail family owned farms bring to every facet of the coffee growing process - planting, harvesting and processing. These are life-learned skills passed on from generation to generation.
Our farmers dry their coffee cherries for weeks on raised beds to extract all the moisture before selling the cherries whole to local traders. Improving the quality of coffee can make a huge difference to household incomes as well as protecting the forests in Ethiopia and Kenya. When farmers can build profitable coffee businesses, they don’t have to clear trees to create space for agriculture. Many of our farmers routinely employ 100’s of employees during harvest and processing seasons and often pay their employee children’s school fees.
If you're a coffee drinker, chances are the cup of java you drank this morning was made from beans that were produced or harvested by women. Women's handprints can be found at every point in coffee production. In fact, on family-owned coffee farms in Africa, about 70 percent of maintenance and harvesting work is done by women, according to an analysis by the International Trade Centre, but only rarely do women own the land or have financial control. Women often don’t have the chance to learn the business skills they need to be able to get the biggest possible profits from their beans, but we’ve been setting up women’s cooperatives so that female farmers can improve their coffee cultivation and business management.
Fair trade organizations are engaged actively in supporting producers and sustainable environmental farming practices. Fair trade practices prohibit child or forced labor. By choosing fair trade coffee, you know that the beans are grown using our rigorous Fairtrade Standards, designed to support farmers and their communities and protect the environment. In fact, every bean can be traced back to the cooperative of small-scale farmers who grew it.
Tour all 12 countries
Africa is larger than the US, China and Pakistan combined and that means there is more for you and your taste buds to explore! You can subscribe for a whole year and taste them all. The full tour also makes for a great gift idea - tour coming soon.
Search for plants by name
We believe in delivering uniquely personal experiences that benefit both parties. We want you to enjoy what we believe to be the finest coffee in the world and at the same time get to know more about the people who are growing, harvesting and processing your whole beans.