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.
This blend is comprised of beans from Smithsonian Bird-Friendly certified farms in Matagalpa, Nicaragua and Chiapas, Mexico. This strict shade certification ensures multi-layers of shade canopy over the coffee and provides a protective habitat for migratory bird populations.
Selva Negra Estate—a farm Allegro has partnered with since the early 90's—provides the base for our Organic Breakfast Blend. One third of Selva Negra is reserved as virgin forest, one third is for shade grown coffee and the remaining third for other projects including a rotating herding system, organic horticulture, worm composting, and an organic mushroom project which will provide an additional food source for workers on the farm. In addition to Selva Negra, we blend with an Ethiopian coffee called Moredocofe, one of the few Rainforest Alliance coffees in Ethiopia. Allegro has been purchasing from this beautifully forested farm for three years. This combination of beans creates a lively blend, bursting with citrus, apricot, milk chocolate, and caramel notes.
A blend from small-holder women farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico and San Ignacio, Peru. In the past the women's beans were mixed with respective male co-ops to make many fine coffee lots. We noticed over the years that on the cupping table the women's coffees outshined the men's. That, and the fact that historically female coffee growers received little recognition for their hard work, we decided to ask that beans be separated to make a women's super lot. Cafe la Duena is the end result.
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.
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.
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.
The idea behind this blend was to bring together the flavors of three great growing regions on three different continents—fruit notes from the Guji district of Ethiopia, earth tones from Aceh in Northern Sumatra and chocolaty sweetness from Huehuetenango, Guatemala. When combined each coffee's unique characteristics creates a powerfully flavorful and satisfying 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.
In 2008, we established relationships with three co-ops in the town of San Ignacio, Peru called Aprocasi, Chirinos, and Frontera. Farmers in San Ignacio enthusiastically adhere to an integrated system of farming that allows for no chemicals to be used. They say, "if you use a chemical to kill a pest, then you also kill its predator, thus killing the entire ecosystem." The monies they receive from their Fair Trade premium go to social programs and technical farm support.
Sweet and smoky. The beans for our Decaf Organic French Roast come from Fair Trade co-operatives in the Chiapas region of southern Mexico. The beans are decaffeinated at the organically certified Swiss Water plant in Vancouver, BC using a natural water and carbon filter method.
This is a blend based on contrast. We take a light roasted base blend of high mountain Latin American beans and to that add some of our Pacific Rim influenced French Roast to create a coffee that is as distinctive in taste as it is in appearance.
This powerhouse coffee is an ideal foundation for a first-rate cappuccino or caffe latte. Coffees from the Americas are combined with select Pacific Rim beans and roasted to a deep, dark, oily brown. This measured, but aggressive style of roast transforms the unique characteristics of beans from the two different continents into a hearty and supremely satisfying organic blend. One of the coffees used in our Espresso Sierra is from a farm called Santa Catarina, located in Chiapas, Mexico. This double certified coffee farm acts as an environmental buffer on the border of the Truinfo Biosphere Reserve. This misty cloudforest is in constant threat from deforestation but the fully shaded coffee farm helps protect it from illegal logging and soil erosion. Allegro has been buying coffee from St. Catarina since 1997.
The name means "beautiful song", and we take great care to make sure the flavor of this blend matches this image. We develop this complex Northern Italian style espresso like a great painter would organize his canvas. First, we create a base layer of low hues from heavy and nutty beans from the Americas, onto which we splash bursts of vibrant color from the fruit-kissed coffees of Ethiopia. This also makes an elegant drip-brewed coffee.
This hearty southern Italian-style espresso blend is powerfully aromatic with a rich, velvety finish. A blend of Latin American beans are roasted to a hearty, dark degree creating the perfect base for an espresso drink or for a luscious, full-flavored brewed coffee.
Syrupy sweet and spicy. The coffee for our Decaf Whole Foods Blend comes from Fair Trade co-ops in Sumatra, Timor, Mexico and Peru. The beans are decaffeinated at the organically certified Swiss Water plant in Vancouver, BC using a natural water and carbon filter method.
This nutty, floral northern Italian-style espresso blend consisting of Latin American and East African beans, is decaffeinated at the Swiss Water plant in Vancouver BC using a natural water and carbon filter method.
Creamy body with mellow notes of milk chocolate and roasted hazelnut. This coffee is from the ORPAE cooperative located in the state of Chiapas. The small farms border the protected El Triunfo Biosphere. From Chiapas this coffee is sent to the organically certified Mountain Water plant in Veracruz for decaffeination using a water and carbon filter method.