- Milk Chocolate & Caramel
- Washed & Natural
- Colombia, Peru, Congo, Guatemala & Peru (natural)
Named after our earliest (and enduring) inspiration to be committed to the fair trade movement, The 'Don' is our multi-origin flagship blend. A complex, full bodied flavour juggernaught with chocolate sweetness and creamy caramel overtones. Roasted for espresso but also works well as a full-bodied plunger.
Processing green coffee beans requires fermentation to produce desirable flavours and allow it to be stored without spoiling. There are two main ways to ferment coffee, either with water which we called washed (or wet) processing or without water called natural (dry) processing. Once ripe cherries are picked, pulping them in a wet mill removes the skin, and fermentation processes the remaining mucilage on the bean.
Traditionally, washed coffee is picked and within 8 hours the cherries are floated in water (and unwanted components are scooped from the top), and then pulped. Then the beans will be washed in water for around 12 - 36 hours and dried in the sun on patios for around a week.
Natural processing involves none of these steps, traditionally the full cherry is dried in the sun for around a week, then the dried skin is removed.
- Peru, South America
Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Cenfrocafe Peru was founded in 1999 with 220 small-scale coffee farmers in eleven community-based associations. Nearly fifteen years after their founding, CENFROCAFE, now based out of Jaen, serves more than 2,000 farmer members in local associations spanning across twelve districts within the lush Cajamarca region. Higher incomes through fair trade sales are enabling CENFROCAFE farmers to diversify into the production of other agricultural crops – reducing migration rates and helping to preserve indigenous culture.
From technical assistance and quality control workshops for their farmers, to economic and leadership training for the young people in their rural communities, CENFROCAFE works not only to support the commercial endeavors of its members – but also to facilitate the development of their communities as a whole. The CENFROCAFE financial team provides short-term credit that help farmers cover the front-end costs of the harvest and materials in the coffee production.
CENFROCAFE is one of the leaders in creating a cooperative alliance with like-minded associations in the greater Cajamarca region to provide important technical and marketing services to thousands of small-scale farmers in Northern Peru. Without this kind of strong organization, local farmers would have otherwise been left each to his or her own devices to develop best practices for healthy fields and increased production yields, or for the marketing and sales of their coffee.
Results to date are impressive. On average, CENFROCAFE producers yield 20qq (100lb sacks of parchment) of organic coffee per hectare, and often show in the top finalists in national and international quality competitions. The improved revenue for CENFROCAFE farmers has been instrumental for their access to basic health, education, and other social services.
Founding member and former president of the producer Board of Directors, Anselmo Huaman Moreto, explains:
“A huge difference in our lives is that now our children can actually go to school, our coffee is being recognized in the market for the quality we produce, we are receiving a fair price for our efforts, and our members can be proud again to be farmers.”
- Colombia, Central America
Central Cooperativa Indigena del Cauca has 1559 family members, all of which are small-scale coffee farmers living in the Cauca region of southern Colombia. CENCOIC's membership is entirely indigenous and consists of Nasa (Paez), Coconuco and Yanacona peoples.
The group's primary focus has been on protecting indigenous Colombians from political violence, protecting their rights, and providing them with the means to collectively work to increase their incomes. Marketing their primary cash crop "coffee" to the fair trade market has been a core activity, as has been income diversification into other crops. The continual improvement of coffee quality is an ongoing activity.
CENCOIC has established a rotating fund for agricultural and animal husbandry projects.
The co-operative has been able to support local experimental farms and indigenous schools.
Crop & Income Diversification
CENCOIC members cultivate, in addition to coffee, potatoes, dairy products, and cane sugar. The co-operative has created community stores where co-operative members sell their produce.
CENCOIC works to protect the rights of indigenous farmers. It has conducted successful campaigns on land reform and other pertinent indigenous issues.
CENCOIC also takes pride from having undertaken the marketing of its own coffee, noting that by understanding all the aspects of coffee production and exporting they can represent their own coffee through their own structure and thus be more self-determining. Members also receive better prices for their coffee by selling to their own co-operative.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa
Solidarite Paysanne la Promotion de Actions Café et Development Integras, known as SOPACDI, has more than 5,200 members divided into 10 primary societies. Equal Exchange began sourcing coffee from SOPACDI in 2011, through the Congo Coffee Project, a product that directly benefits the Panzi Hospital.
The co-op has been a leader in war-torn DRC and was on a positive path for developing their quality, but they were in need of a coffee cupper to further direct their specialty coffee efforts. In 2012, Equal Exchange Quality Control Manager Beth Ann traveled to the DRC and spent three full days working with eight men and women to determine their natural and learned abilities in coffee quality. At the end of this intensive seminar, Dunia Moises Muhindo was selected from the group as the new coffee cupper for SOPACDI. Moises is the son of coffee farmers in the co-op and the oldest of 10 children. He has since attended various coffee trainings, including a cross-cultural coffee training led by Beth Ann at Gumutindo Co-op in Uganda in 2013, and another training with Beth Ann back at SOPACDI in November 2014.
From inception, SOPACDI’s aim has been to bridge ethnic groups and to produce the highest quality coffee possible. Each year the membership of SOPACDI grows and today, SOPACDI has more than 5,200 farmers in the co-op, speaking a variety of languages, including Kirundi, Kihavu, Kinyarwanda, Swahili and French. Over 20% of the members are women, many of these women are widows, some who lost their husbands as they tried to smuggle and barter coffee across the lake to Rwanda. However, the women are working to find their voices in the co-operative; many participate in co-operative meetings and have been very vocal about their situations as mothers, widows and farmers.
- Peru, South America
Cooperativa Agraria De Servicios Cafe Hemalu De Los Bosques Del Inka Coopchebi was formed in 2003 with the mission to 'Improve the living conditions of our partners, workers, women & children and coffee community’.
Their coffee is grown with principles of organic coffee production, which involves a lot of work from the selection of good seed crops with terraces, reforesting, maintaining very old trees and controlling weeds manually, allowing environmental biodiversity keep it's balance. The selection grain to grain is manually. It starts from the harvest through the siphon, the fermenter tank, reaching the drying equipment and very clean slabs preventing water from wet mill contaminating the environment. Wastage is recycled for production of organic fertilisers.
Social premiums go toward healthcare, roads, improved technical capabilities and quality of life of our workers and their families, as well as the replica of our experiences and sharing of knowledge on a national level.
- Location: Guatemala, Central America
GUAYA’B Asociacion Civil was formed in 1999, with the aim of providing better livelihoods for its members through higher prices and other development assistance.
The association represents 477 coffee and honey producers in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes region near Huehuetenango, in north-western Guatemala. 299 of these producers are listed as coffee growers and 178 as honey producers, although in practice some members have both honey and coffee. Most of the members are Popti' Maya, and the group's name means "mutual benefit" in their language.
Among the services Guaya'b offers to its members are a low interest loan service (farmers typically are left without sufficient cash in the months prior to harvest to pay for essentials, and may not be able to find casual work in this period either), and services for local women such as nutritional advice and work and business training (making honey-processing equipment and running a honey store in Jacaltenango).
Technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of honey and coffee production is central to Guaya'b's work. The co-operative provides an at-cost supply of certified coffee seedlings to its members.
A revolving credit fund supports members' efforts to renovate their coffee farms.
Construction of its own wet processing mill on the outskirts of Jacaltenango has created an opportunity for many coffee-producing members of Guaya'b to process their coffee from cherry stage to dried coffee parchment much more cheaply (at about 25% of the previous cost), and more quickly, than they previously could. It is also expected that by using the wet mill farmers can produce a more consistent, higher quality coffee than they can in their own backyards.
Multi-origin blends allow us to craft a balanced palate by bringing together distinct coffee flavours from different regions. It also allows us to support smaller co-ops and a range of co-ops - distributing our own economic resources more strategically.
Don Wilfredo Haslan
Don's tiny five-hectare coffee farm is situated in the Nicaraguan jungle, two hours drive from Matagalpa. Acutely aware of the environment, and how to get the best out of a very small amount of land, farmers like Don Wilfredo continue to provide a striking and confronting model of what it could be like to live with a very modest environmental footprint.