Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, much of our coffee is directly traded, meaning we pay the producer directly, in cash, for coffee at a sustainable price, and import that coffee ourselves. In fact, about 80% of the coffee we roast is grown on farms that we own ourselves or have partnership interest in. Our family owns 100% of our 2 farm's in El Salvador, Fincas Ayutepeque and el Manzano. We have 25% ownership through our family in Fazenda Santana in Brazil. The other 20% or so of coffees that we purchase, we rely on reputable direct trade coffee importers, such as Cafe Imports and Crop to Cup to help us source, finance, import, and warehouse the coffees we need. We are committed to purchasing only coffees with full traceability down to the mill/washing-station/community of small farmers at a minimum.
Short answer, no, not always. However, that doesn't mean we don't do all that we can to mitigate between being responsible stewards of the land and the realistic challenges of growing coffee at a profit. On our farms, we try to minimize our inputs where ever and whenever possible, and are constantly trying new agricultural techniques in order to increase our overall sustainability. We do from time to time purchase coffees that were grown on Organic Certified farms, and we will say so on the coffees product page if it was. Though, not holding NOP certification for our roastery, we are unable to label the package as "Organic." There's nothing in our roasting processes that would be considered "non-organic." We simply take the beans, heat them in a roaster, and then package them.
You may be interested to know that 99% of coffee grown in Ethiopia are considered "organic by default," even if it doesn't carry certification. The reality is many small farmers lack the resources, funds, or farm size to apply for and maintain certification. They likely grow things in an organic manner, but lack the certification. Since we purchase traceable coffees, you can always send us a message and inquire about a specific coffee and we'll find an answer for you.
No, at our farms in El Salvador we've developed an noninvasive technique in dealing with insects. We hang bright pink plates amongst the coffee shrubs, which attract insects, where they then become stuck in a glue that we apply to the plates. We've found this to be as effective as commercial pesticide sprays in minimizing insect plague, and more cost effective.
Fungus can be a real crop killer, especially in recent years as the global temperature is warming, creating wetter, hotter conditions in coffee growing regions. We do not spray fungicides as a standard practice, though have tried many treatments over the years ranging from conventional to bio-dynamic in nature. It's always a crap shoot, what will work during a specific season. Our long term solution, which is better strategy for overall sustainability and farm health is to engage in proper pruning practices, renewing plants on a regular basis, and diversify the types of cultivars planted throughout the farm.
Yes, coffee plants are extremely hungry, and require a great deal of minerals and nutrients to stay healthy and productive. Our approach is a mix of commercial fertilizers containing calcium, magnesium and nitrogen, as well organic compost made from the discarded coffee cherry skins and pulp.
We typically process and ship orders within 2 business days of the order being placed. We ship to the entire U.S. via the US Postal Service and UPS, and transit times typically take 1-3 days depending on how far away you are from Tulsa. We roast much of our coffee to order, so when your coffee arrives to you it should be within 1-5 days off roast. Coffee is best brewed after it has had time to degas (5-7 days off roast). Coffee's aroma will be at its peak intensity and freshness within the first month of roasting. So, if you are planning on signing up for a subscription, it's best to order for a month's supply at a maximum, if you are looking to get the absolute best out of your beans.