The Larin family has been an Allegro partner for many years. Their two most prized farms, El Tesoro and Shangri-La, are located in the Sonsanate region of Western El Salvador near the quaint town of Juayua. Access to the farm is from a mountainous dirt road. Views from this road reach as far as the Pacific Ocean, and once you reach the farm you can see as far away as Honduras and Guatemala. Approximately 120 acres of the farm is cultivated with coffee. The balance of the farms—approximately 200 acres—is untouched highland rainforest that ends at the base of a volcanic crater. During the rainy season (May-October) the crater fills with water and becomes a shallow lagoon—La Laguna de las Ranas (The Frog Lagoon). The frogs hatch as the rains start falling, and you can see thousands and thousands of frogs jumping around in the shallow part of the lagoon as you approach. It is truly a beautiful natural sight!
El Roble (Oak Tree) Estate owned by Oswaldo Acevedo is situated on a plateau called "Mesa de los Santos" which neighbors the majestic Chicamocha Canyon—considered the "Grand Canyon" of Colombia. The farm located in the northern Santander Department is just over 300 Hectares (740 acres) in size and sits at 1700 meters (5600 feet). They grow Caturra, Bourbon, and Typica coffee varieties under a full shade canopy and the beans are processed using a fully washed style with fermentation tanks. They build all their own organic fertilizers and organic pesticides using products and bi-products produced on the farm. They also use manual weeding practices and both soil and water conservation techniques in the field and wet mill.
Those who prefer depth and resonance to brightness and drama in a balanced breakfast cup.
Just south of the Great Rift Valley is the region of Yirgacheffe. The small-scale farmers here grow their coffee intermixed with fruit trees and false banana (a main food staple) in garden-size plots beside their traditionally round thatch-roofed homes. The high elevation of the Yirgacheffe region contributes to the intense aromatic characteristics of the coffee. Our lot was produced using a natural sun-dried process. This means the coffee cherries were harvested and allowed to dry around the beans inside. This method helps develop a deep body and tones of dried fruit and spice in the cup.
The Zaragoza name comes from one of the primary communities within the 21st of September coffee cooperative in the southern state of Oaxaca. Thirty-five percent of the co-op is made of up women farm owners and in 2008 Allegro began to purchase exclusive lots of their coffees in addition to the regular lots.
The Agustino Forest coffee is grown by the Asoguar Cooperative in the municipality of San Agustin, Huila. There are 104 members of the group composed by indigenous and afro-descendant families. The aim of the group is towards environmental conservation and producing socially sustainable alternatives to illicit crops. The average elevation of the area is between 1700-2000 meters. The Caturra and Colombia variety coffee is grown under full shade.
The Dota co-op is located in Santa Maria de Dota, a high mountain valley in the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. Allegro began sourcing coffee from Dota in the 90's making it one of our longest standing relationships. 87% of the Dota valley is a forest preserve. A graduate from Earth University, Ortencia, is in charge of the co-ops environmental program which includes: earth worm composting, bio-gas production, water conservation, and shade management. The farm also runs a small test organic farm to teach the members how to grow coffee using ecologically-friendly methods. Funds from the sale of this coffee go to support the Earth University scholorship program.
La Bolsa is a farm in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala from which Allegro has been sourcing coffee for over 10 years. The farm was given the "La Bolsa" name because it sits like a little pocket or bag in between the rocky cliffs of a steep valley. The farm is owned by Maria Elena Vides de Ovalle and managed by her son Renardo Ovalle. An abundance of fresh water on the farm allows for the use of tradiional washed processing for the coffee. They grow a field blend of of Bourbon and Caturra varieties. The farm's elevation starts at 1300 meters.
The growing area that lies between Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare Mountain range yields the world's finest coffees. These great coffees are typically grown on tiny half acre farms by members of cooperative washing stations or on small independent family farms. The elevation of these farms runs between 5000-6500 feet and they are blessed with rich red volcanic soils. Much of these coffees exceptional flavors are due to the varieties: SL28 and SL34. Our Grand Cru mark represents a rotating selection of the top lots sold at the weekly auctions in Nairobi and direct purchases from a couple individual family farm, Mamuto and Ndaria.
Coffee Reviewed by Kenneth Davids, CoffeeReview.com, June 2014:
Baroida Plantation, located in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, was founded by Ben Colbran, in the beginnings of the 1960’s. The Eastern Highlands join together with the other famed region of the Western Highlands around Mt. Hagen. Baroida is situated nearly dead center between these two high altitude coffee regions.The name Baroida comes from an old traditional spirit that was believed to reside in a particular large rock that lies in the middle of the river that runs through the lands of the plantation. The reason it was believed a spirit, is that even the largest river floods could not move this one rock, even when all other stones and rocks were washed away.
Our Lintong beans come from farms in Lintong Nihuta, a renowned coffee community on the southern border of Lake Toba—the world's largest volcanic crater lake—located in Northern Sumatra. The coffee comes from a collective project called, "Tano Batak" (Land of the Batak) which sources beans from the indigenous Batak people of the region. The coffee is processed using the local "wet hulled" method (called, "Giling Basah"), which tends to leave the coffee with a more rustic flavor profile. After processing and drying the coffee is triple hand-picked and density sorted to remove defects and leave the cup with a unique herbal character.
The aromas of this coffee conjure up images of the rich compost from a forest floor— moss, crushed leaves, and wild mushrooms—offset with a sweet butterscotch finish and almost chewy body. The best coffees from Sulawesi come from an area known as Torajaland on the northern petal of this orchid-shaped island. Coffee is grown here in tiny backyard gardens alongside tropical fruit and mixed spices which add to the dimension of inherent flavor notes in the beans. Our beans come specifically from small-scale farmers in a sub-region of Toraja known as Sapan Minanga.
Our 100% pure Arianna Farm Kona beans are grown on a small ecologically-focused family farm in the heart of the big island's legendary Kona Coffee Belt, which dates back to the 1890s. Arianna's coffee trees thrive in a misty microclimate nestled on the lush slopes of the Hualalai volcano. Winner of the Kona Coffee Cultural Fest for best quality, Arianna Farms is committed to sustainable methods of growing coffee in this unique and small micro-region.