News | IncaFé Organic Coffee


Coffee processing and coffee flavour

Posted by Joseph Verbeek on

Most of the flavour in coffee is determined by the environmental circumstances, coffee variety, altitude and for a very big part the processing on the farm and in the final processing plant.

Coffee is the pit of a cherry. It consists of 2 halves that look a bit like a peanut: the seeds. The seeds have a thin skin around them. The pit has a harder shell around them, the hull. Around the hull you find sweet fruit flesh or mucilage, also called "honey" because it is so sweet. Coffee processes differ in the number of layers that are removed before drying and the degree of fermentation of the mucilage. Different countries and sometimes different growers have different definitions of the processing methods.

Recyclable packaging - why the change?

Posted by Joseph Verbeek on
Selecting the right packaging is very complex. We thought we had it right with our compostable packaging but we had some blind spots when we pursued that. We think recyclable packaging is the future and for good reasons. There is a lot more push and pull behind and a lot more development than ever before. There is a clear consensus that we need to improve recycling and recyclability.

The problem with compostable packaging

Posted by Joseph Verbeek on

Since our inception in 2006 we wanted to produce the best coffee possible and do it as sustainably as possible. By far our biggest contribution to a more sustainable world is buying from organic plantations and promoting organic coffee. Our coffee is carbon-positive just by the fact that it is grown organically.

We are as upset as anyone else to see and hear about plastics in our environment and we wanted to do something about it by developing compostable packaging back in 2012. Although question marks arose along the way, we wanted to believe there was a better way for packaging by going compostable.

We are now moving away from home-compostable packaging and start using recyclable packaging. Overall, the latter gives much lower greenhouse gas emissions and it does not use primary products like corn or sugar that could be used for food. We don’t want to use arable land for the production of bio-plastics or contribute to more deforestation.

Another problem is that our manufacturers cannot give recognised 3rd party certification of the packaging. The individual layers might be certified but the final laminate film for the packaging is not. We expected this to come sooner or later but it is just not happening. 

We feel that recyclable plastic is for now the best solution for packaging that requires high barriers to protect the product, until there are more sustainable materials available to make bioplastics from and there is a better solution for the end-of-life GHG emissions of bioplastics. We have always pursued the most sustainable options and we are convinced that, looking from all angles at packaging, this is the best way forward to continue promoting organic products.

For a more sustainable world we need more organic agriculture and certainly more organic coffee as the latter is relatively easy and has such a big impact.

Living wage employer

Posted by Joseph Verbeek on

We have been a living wage employer for a long time but this year we decided to have this made official. So there we are, an accredited Living Wage Employer. Although in our company we...

Mycotoxin: Ochratoxin A (OTA) in coffee

Posted by Joseph Verbeek on
At IncaFé Organic Coffee we have been aware of the presence of Ochratoxin A (OTA), a mycotoxin, in coffee for a long time. Since 2013 we routinely take various samples each year from our green bean containers for OTA testing. Below some further explanation on what it is, why it occurs and why it is not a concern.