For thousands of years farmers in China, India, Middle East and South America have known that when you work with nature you can produce beautiful foods in abundance. Organic agriculture does work and it provides much needed jobs and companion crops for local food production.
Just because we are now able to modify genes does not mean we understand how that will interact with nature and humans. We do not support GM and our coffees are GM free. We support our suppliers in their efforts to remain GM free.
For nature to work best we should respect the soil, its water and all what lives in it. For the land to produce best we should respect the hands that care it. To make the best meal or drink we should respect the product. To be served best we should respect the hands that prepare. Our bodies work best with quality over quantity. If you respect yourself, you respect your food and drink.
It is a cycle of respect that served humanity and the earth well and that most of us are raised with in some form. It still works in this modern world but we have to make an effort to walk the talk. We try hard.
We don’t want people to drink more coffee, we want them to drink better coffee.
Foremost the taste of the coffee is influenced by the quality of the beans, the varietal and where they come from. Altitude and shade have a significant impact on the taste of the coffee.
We source our coffees directly from selected plantations. Despite the certifications we visit our suppliers ourselves to assure we are comfortable with their working practices. We build long term relationships with our suppliers.
We help our suppliers to improve the taste profile of the coffee and their quality control. Where we can we help with solutions to improve ergonomics and living standards, on top of the premiums we pay for the high quality coffee.
Most of our coffees are sourced from plantations situated at 1700m altitude or higher. All coffees are shade-grown.
We visit the processing plants were the coffee is dehusked, graded and packed prior to shipment. We arrange our own shipment to ensure the coffee takes the fastest and most direct routing in dedicated containers.
Once the coffee arrives at our Roastery we delicately store if before roasting. There is no risk of contamination as all our coffees are certified organic and FairTrade.
In essence there are 2 different roasting techniques: hot air bed or rotating drum. Although more difficult to operate, drum roasters are favoured for espresso coffee since it produces a more even roasted bean. Drum roasters are significantly slower which gives time for the heat to work itself evenly into the centre of the bean. The sugars in the coffee are more evenly caramelised. It is analogue to the flavour development in slow cooking.
We use a drum roaster for this reason. We use a fully refurbished 1948 60kg Gothot, once the Rolls Royce of roasting machines. It lacks some of the controls that modern roasting machines have but the German-made cast iron drum and construction make up for that. Cast iron distributes the heat evenly. Good cast iron is hard to find nowadays.
We have a smaller 12kg roaster for small batches and a sample roaster to do tests with blends and quality control.
All our coffee is packed shortly after roasting in high-barrier foil and nitrogen flushed such that the coffee can taste fresh up to 24 months. By packing the coffee immediately upon grinding the aroma is trapped in the pack.
Coffee is often in the news for various beneficial effects apart from firing you up in the morning. There are claims for reduction in Alzheimers and certain forms of cancer: www.coffeeandhealth.org/
There are almost no Food Safety standards in the world for coffee hence there is little testing or research into residual chemicals. Studies in the USA have shown that coffee can contain significant residual chemicals that survive the roasting process: www.nrdc.org/health/farming/ccc/chap4.asp
With the lack of Food Safety standards for coffee, the easiest way to relief concerns is to go certified organic.
Our coffees are GM free. We request our suppliers to provide affadavits to that effect.
Our roastery has a certified HACCP Based Food Safety programme: www.foodsafety.govt.nz/
BioGro is New Zealand’s leading organic certification agency. BioGro is one of just 30 international organic certification agencies accredited by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), which represents the best in international organic standards. The BioGro brand is synonymous with integrity, leadership, trust and quality of service.
Fairtrade certification guarantees not only fair prices, but also the principles of ethical purchasing. These principles include banning child and slave labour, adherence to the United Nations charter of human rights, a fair price that covers the cost of production and facilitates social development, and protection and conservation of the environment.
The Fairtrade certification system also promotes long-term business relationships between buyers and sellers, crop pre-financing (which allows farmers to avoid underselling due to cash flow) and greater transparency throughout the chain of supply.
The carboNZero programme is the world’s first internationally accredited greenhouse gas certification scheme. It provides robust tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with credibility and integrity. CarboNZero certification allows us to become “carbon neutral”, by mitigating emissions and offsetting our emissions by investing in alternative energy and forestry.