Coffee is people.
Often times it’s hard to communicate this principle through a delicious cup of coffee, but it has gone through a rigorous process for you to be able to enjoy it––a process that was accomplished by people, rarely westerners. Working in Nepal with coffee farmers taught me a few things, primarily that I had no idea the effort it took for me to enjoy a good cup of coffee. This is very interesting.
The majority of coffee, if not all of it, comes from families that have grown coffee for decades. They know how to plant the seeds (which are the same beans that we roast), cultivate the small shrubby trees, harvest the cherries when they are ripe, process the coffees through hulling, washing, fermenting, drying and then getting the finished product to those who love the brewed product.
These families take a lot of pride in their craft and are often avid coffee consumers themselves. Helping them improve their practice ensures they get a better price for their hard work, and that we get better coffee. To not recognize them for their many years of effort is an odd reality today.
The gap in information that creates this breakdown in understanding is primarily due to the effects of capitalism and a culture of consumerism. To seek to change such things that are sadly inherent of being “western” seems futile. But, can we create a ripple in the proverbial pond that travels outward with thanks to those who labor for us to enjoy this black sweet silky nectar? Surely!
We seek to do this at Crestone Coffee. Although we are still small at this time, and the capital to thoroughly accomplish this task is somewhat elusive to us currently, we maintain a practice that seeks to honor those individuals who worked very hard to make this final product what it is. We are honored at their hard work, and thankful to give their hard work the recognition it deserves through roasting it with care and attaching their name to the product itself. We hope to eventually have actual relationship with every name on our bags.
Currently, we have several coffees that do embody this practice. Check out our Guatemala Maya Ixil and El Salvador Pacamara (coming soon) which are through face to face relationship with the people who produce these coffees.
This practice joins the many other coffee companies throwing stones in the great sea of coffee production which will inevitably make the wave that could indeed be the true 4th wave of coffee.