Allegro has partnered with Selva Negra Estate in Nicaragua since the early 1990's. Eddy and Mausi Kuhl were doing 'sustainable' coffee way before certifications were popular because they believed it was the right thing to do for both the environment and the workers on the farm. Our coffee from Selva Negra carries three certifications—Organic, Rainforest Alliance and Smithsonian Bird Friendly. The size of the farm is 300 acres with one third reserved as virgin forest, one third used for shade grown coffee and the remaining third for other projects including a rotational grazing system for cattle, organic horticulture, worm composting, cocoa production, and an organic mushroom project which provides an additional food source for workers on the farm.
The Suke Quto grower association is located along the Shakisso valley in the highland Guji zone of southern Ethiopia. This 68 member group was established in 2004. They grow a mix of local heirloom varieties on around 300 hectares between 1800-2200 meters above sea level. Ripe coffee cherry is picked, depulped and then traditionally fermented, washed and soaked before being dried on raised beds in the sun.
The Aprocassi grower's coooperative is located in the town of San Ignacio in far northern Peru. There are currently 474 members of Aprocassi which has grown rapidly since its founding in 2000. The farms' average size is between 2 and 3 hectares and the coffee is interplanted with various food crops. The farmers use traditional fermentation methods to process the coffee and then dry it individually on covered raised beds. The co-op works hard to ensure its members use good organic practices on their farms and employs agronomists to give trainings and perform inspections.
Our Agustino Forest Colombia is grown by the Asoguar (La Argentina Forest Ranger Association) in the municipality of San Agustin, Huila. There are 104 members of the group composed of indigenous and afro-descendant families. The aim of the group is towards environmental conservation and producing socially sustainable alternatives to illicit crops.
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.
Homacho Waeno co-op is located at very lofty elevations above 2000m in the Sidama region of Ethiopia. This highland coffee is grown in small garden plots in the Aleta Wondo district and the co-op is a member of the larger Sidama Coffee Farmers Union.
Allegro has been sourcing coffee for over 10 years from La Bolsa. The name "La Bolsa" comes from the farm's location—it sits like a little "pocket" or "bag" in between the rocky cliffs of a steep valley in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. The farm is owned by Maria Elena Vides de Ovalle and managed by her son Renardo. An abundance of fresh water on the farm allows for the use of traditional washed processing for the coffee. They grow a field blend of of Bourbon and Caturra varieties.
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 5,000-6,500 feet and they are blessed with rich, red volcanic soils. The exceptional flavor of these coffees are mostly due to the varietal types grown here (called 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 of individual family farms—Mamuto and Ndaria.
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 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 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). The coffee comes from a collective which sources beans from the indigenous Batak people of Northern Sumatra. 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, the coffee is triple hand picked and density sorted to remove defects.
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.