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At Carolina's Colombia we are focused on growing our coffee beans using traditional methods. On our farm, shade-grown trees produce a superior bean and they also provide a valuable habitat for migratory birds, wildlife and other endangered species.
Most importantly, they are our beans, which means we control all aspects of their growth and harvest including:
Weeding without the use of herbicides
Procedures for picking, fermenting, washing, selecting, drying and husking
Transport and storage
By managing all aspects of process we can guarantee consistent quality of our beans from land to shelf.
Benefits of Shade-Grown Beans:
Taste: Shaded conditions create a cooler setting and, like coffee grown at higher altitudes, the growth of the bean is slower. This creates a denser, harder bean, and that is what roasters and coffee experts look for in quality coffee.
Provides bird habitat and greater biodiversity: Shade-grown helps generate more biodiversity, and leads to a more stable ecosystem. The forest provides a safe habitat for birds that eat insect larvae, and in turn, reducing the need for pesticide use. It also offers support for more bees that help pollinate the coffee plants. On that note, yes we also import the unique flavoured Honey produced by local artisanal apiculturists.
Helps sustain rainforests: Coffee plantations that are chemically dependent suffer from soil depletion and increased erosion. The rainforest is stripped to provide fresh growing ground. Shaded coffee farms are, for the most part, organic and sustainable. The canopy is constantly dropping natural biomass to the plantation soil ... thus maintaining complete sub-soil ecosystems.
Benefits of High Altitude Grown Beans
Our farm is at 1,400 meters above sea level and our coffee is considered "high altitude" grown. High altitude reduces the quantity yielded but results in more desirable flavour.
Benefits of Hand Selected Beans:
Experienced pickers know to only select the ripe beans from each plant at each of numerous passes over two months. They also know how to remove the fruit without damaging stems and leaves. This is especially in contrast to high yield -- lower quality machine-harvested beans.
Benefits of local roasting
"Green" coffee beans are quite resistant to aging.. and are still considered "new" up to one year after harvest. In contrast; "roasted", and even more so..., "roasted and ground" beans begin to lose freshness much more quickly. The ideal model is to; economically transport quantities of green beans to Ontario, properly store them, and then locally custom roast and grind the beans... not long before you prepare your coffee.