Blends are the perfect crowd pleaser. Smooth and full of flavour, these beans are incredibly versatile as you can use them to create delish espressos, rich short black coffees or quality plunger brews. Today we’re getting soulful, digging into everything we love about our beautiful Sacred Grounds Spirit Blend. This particular blend is all about sustainability – which is great for the future of coffee, for our environment and for our own health.
What is Sustainability?
This term is bandied around like it’s nobody’s business these days. It’s one of those feel-good words that we don’t really have to think about because in our minds, it’s a good thing! Too right but what is the definition of sustainability and how does it actually impact our world and coffee itself?
Let’s go straight to one of the world’s best ‘wordy’ sources – the Oxford Dictionary for an accurate definition; it says, “The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” or “Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” Simply put, let’s not run our poor world ragged and use up all its natural resources, instead how about we restrict pollution, retain pure soil, waterways and forests, leaving minimal footprints on our environment.
When it comes to organic coffee plantations this is crucial because even a hint of pollution in soils or waterways will impact crops and the beans themselves which puts the ongoing ‘organic’ certification claim in doubt. This is why we choose coffee producers who have a strategy in place to ensure long-term sustainability on their plantations. Our Spirit Blend features two of the most sustainable producers in the world, creating incredible coffee that benefits the environment, the future of coffee and the health of our customers.
Spirit Blend Producers
This incredible nation is the birthplace of coffee. Since 840AD coffee has been a vital part of the Ethiopian landscape; that’s some serious sustainability going on right there. Today, Ethiopia still produces some of the best coffee in the world. Our Ethiopian producers, Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU), take pride in this fact, working hard to produce high quality coffee beans using only sustainable farming techniques.
This award-winning coffee is grown under the protective shade of naturally occurring Acacia and Oak trees with leaves and animal manure providing chemical-free fertilising. OCFCU also trains other farmers on how to create a sustainable environment using compost and natural fertilisers as well as ensuring ongoing bird-friendly conditions. The co-op has also created loans for farmers to buy eco-friendly machines for their processing procedures reducing the amount of water used, limiting pollution and ultimately saving precious dollars.
One of our nearest neighbours, Sumatra is a beautiful tropical island with a rich history of growing and exporting coffee. The Dutch actually introduced coffee to this idyllic island in 1870 and ever since it has been a vital part of the Sumatran economic landscape.
Our Sumatran partners in this region are Permata Gayo Co-op. Formed in 2006, this passionate group has grown to over 3,000 members, gaining organic certification in 2007, then they were Fairtrade certified in 2009. The important thing about this co-op is that every step of coffee processing is controlled and monitored by the group themselves. From planting, harvesting, washing, drying, processing and ultimately exporting – the co-op oversees the whole thing. This means quality is high and procedures are tight.
One of the problems in Sumatra is that the rich volcanic soils have previously been over-farmed and polluted leading to erosion. To combat this issue, the Permata Gayo Co-op have self-funded training programs to educate locals in soil conservation and pollution controls. The co-op also provides an area for members to compost appropriate materials and they have created a tree nursery.
Sustainability provides a future for farmers, a future for our beloved coffee to continue to be produced and enjoyed for generations to come. If we look after our environment, we look after our workers and the people consuming our coffee. This is why we’ve taken the time and care to create a blend that highlights the vital importance of sustainability in the coffee industry.
Keen to try our Spirit Blend? Click here and order now…