Carmen Estate is a 24-hectare farm in the Volcan Valley of Chiriqui, Panama. The farm is located at 1700 meters and grows a mix of Catuai, Caturra, and Typica varieties under a shade canopy. Every year the ripe coffee cherries are carefully hand-picked by members of the Nobes-Bugle indigenous people in the dry weather of late December through the end of March. The third generation owner of Carmen, Carlos Aguiera Franceschi uses an eco-pulper to remove the cherry husk and pulp from his coffee and then uses a combination of sun and machine drying to perfectly prepare the beans.
The Kilimanjaro Volcanic Coffee Growers Association (KVCGA) are 423 small-holder farmers who grow coffee at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Their small coffee gardens border the bigger Machare Coffee Estate from which we also buy coffee and whose owners assist and advise their small-holder neighbors. There are 15 micro-CPU's (Central Processing Units) set up throughout each sub-village where the farmers live in order to minimize the travel distance for each farmer to deliver their freshly picked coffee cherries by foot and wheel barrel. The farms range in elevation from 1350-1550 meters and they grow a mixture of Kent coffee varieties, originally from India, in Kilimajaro's volcanic soils.
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.
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.
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 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.