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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.