We'd like to share our business philosophy with anyone willing to listen. Our company was not started as a money making venture. We have been told by some that this is the surest way to fail. Well, that may be, but if we do fail as an economic venture, we may yet achieve that which is most important to us. We want to share our passion for coffee with our friends and neighbors, and now by way of the Internet, with a bigger group of friends.
Philosophy may be too grand a term. Basically, we are determined to operate our company by a set of principles which guide us as we make business decisions.
First, we will buy and sell only the best beans. The first 2 bags of beans we bought in 1980 were for our own consumption. Today, we continue to buy only the coffee we want to drink. Is it distinctive? Is the quality of its character, body, fragrance and aroma strong enough to place it at the top of a short list for regional favorites? We will not buy a variety of coffee beans just to satisfy an incomplete coffee listing sheet. If weather, natural disaster or political conflict prevents obtaining an outstanding coffee from a particular country or region; we don't buy it. You will find times when we have no Sumatran-Mandheling, or Jamaica-Blue Mt or Guatemala Antigua. If we can't buy the exceptional bean, we pass. In most instances, we find another superb coffee from a nearby region which will deliver a closely related, but unique taste experience. If you don't see your favorite coffee listed - please call us or send an e-mail, we'd love to help you find a great substitute. Many times, people find a new favorite this way.
Next, we must make every effort to deliver the ultimate coffee experience. This is what started our adventure in the world of coffee. We must constantly focus on the following elements:
- Innovative technology - Our advanced roasting system locks more of the essential volitiles in the bean. We will continue to advance and refine our FlashRoast system. See Art and Science
- Freshness - We will custom roast each cutomers order according to their instructions every morning Monday through Friday. We will ship, using U.S. Priority Mail in the afternoon on the same day. Shipping charges will be included in the quoted sales price. We will use the most efficient resealable packaging materials available. See Basics
- Customer Service - We will encourage and assist our customers to store and prepare coffee using optimal techniques and principles. We will use in-store personal contact, online forms and (one on one) e-mail to build a relationship with each customer, to better understand their coffee needs.
Protection of the coffee growing biosphere. We are deeply concerned about the threat posed to delicate tropical environments by intensive coffee cultivation practices. We want to be part of the solution. We have partnered with one of the leading importers of green organic, arabica coffees in the U.S. to offer our customers a wide range of the best coffee beans, grown under sustainable conditions.
In our "Coffee Offerings page" you will find each of our coffees identified with symbols which apply to each. By choosing to buy coffees identified by these markers, you will help us to further promote these healthy practices.
- Shade Grown ( look for our symbol - SG)
- "Shade Grown" coffee farms maintain a canopy of shade trees that provide habitat for numerous tropical forest species and North American migratory birds, reduce the need for chemical inputs by improving soil quality, reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, and provide alternative sources of income to farmers who can harvest other forest products. Biodiverse coffee also has superior cup quality since beans grown under a shade canopy ripen more slowly, producing a smoother, richer taste.
- Organic ( look for our symbol - ORG)
- Coffee is the second most heavily pesticide sprayed crop in the world. The use of intensive agrochemicals in coffee production results in serious health and ecological problems. Farmers and other rural residents are exposed to toxic substances used on coffee farms or via contaminated water supplies. Furthermore, certain toxic chemicals banned in North America , including DDT and malathion, continue to be used in many coffee growing countries. The highest concentration of these chemicals will be found in the more processed coffees consumed in North America. Certified organic coffee is produced using traditional, sustainable cultivation methods. This means natural composting and pest control are used instead of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or other harmful agrochemicals.
Support the Fair Trade Movement ( look for this symbol )
- Small farmers and workers on coffee plantations have been economically hurt by falling world coffee prices in recent years. It is ironic, that at a time when the "gourmet coffee" industry is booming, many of these small farmers have seen a declining income during this same period.
- The fair trade movement ensures that small farmers are paid a higher price for their harvests through trade relationships that cut out some of the commercial middlemen. Certified fair trade coffee is imported directly from small coffee farms which are organized into cooperatives. The direct trade relationships established through fair trade help growers improve living and working conditions by allowing them to invest modest profits back into their communities and farms.
- We believe the fair trade program is one way we can be proactive in support of coffee farmers, their families and communities. About 30% of our coffee stock today is in certified, Fair Trade coffees. We will continue to search for exceptional candidate coffees which carry the FT certification to add to our offerings. These beans cost more to purchase, but a high percentage of this premium goes in the pocket of the farmer, and that makes it very worthwhile. Please watch for the "FT" symbol next to the description in our offerings list. For more information on the Fair Trade program visit: http://www.transfairusa.org/content/about/overview.php
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