Some of the last remaining coffee beans being harvested at higher altitudes in Matagalpa near the community of Hilipo. Photograph: January 20th, 2016, Hilipo, El Tuma – La Dalia, Nicaragua. Morgan Arnold, freelance.

Insights

Zen And The Art Of Natural Coffee

by | Feb 22, 2017

Key Insight

The market for natural coffees is growing. Given how critical water scarcity is in many coffee growing regions, there are good ethical and environmental reasons for specialty coffee roasters to seek natural coffees.

Last year, I waded into the debate on natural coffee with a post called “Natural Coffees – Good for Water Resources” concluding that, “I think that natural coffees should have a future, and that the coffee industry (from roasters to farmers) should invest in methods and systems to make natural coffees more consistent”.

After that post, we walked that talk. CRS’ Blue Harvest team started a collaborative project with Exportadora Atlantic in Nicaragua (ECOM), along with other innovators in natural coffees in Central America. This work is co-funded with a grant from the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as part of its SAFE Platform. This post is an update on what we’re learning.

Two weeks ago, CRS staff and partners involved in Blue Harvest visited two sites in Nicaragua to learn from people on the ground, including ECOM’s Condega mill and Finca San Rafael in Sabanas.