A'Roma Roasters Coffee & Tea promotes the concept of sustainability. Sustainability represents respect for the community, the people, and the environment. We are:
Coffee beans are grown and processed according to OCIA guidelines. Organic means that no pesticides or chemical fertilizers may be used on the plants themselves, the soil, or the premises where the beans will be stored and processed. This certification is a lengthy process costing around $30,000 to the farmer and takes 3 years worth of inspections to complete. Because this is such a costly venture, small farmers often band together forming co-ops which pool their resources.
Beans are grown under a natural canopy of trees causing development of the plant to be slower. As a result, flavors tend to be complex. In many Central and South American countries, this was the traditional way to grow coffee, prior to the emergence of industrial agriculture. A canopy of trees offer a welcome refuge to many migratory and resident bird species and promotes biodiversity within this ecosystem.
This term implies that techniques being used will continue to work for the good of the land being farmed and for those people farming it. Sustainable does not necessarily mean organic, although organic farming is by definition sustainable. Being a sustainable coffee farm means that farm management is looking after the present and future welfare of the crops, the water being used, and the lives of those who care for and harvest the coffee beans. Sustainable farms often produce a higher quality coffee because the workers have a vested interest in producing and maintaining a quality product.
Caffeine in coffee is water-soluble and there are many techniques used to remove it. A'Roma uses Swiss Water processed decaf and carbon dioxide (CO2) processed decaf. Swiss Water process soaks the beans in water to remove caffeine. The CO2 decaffeination process removed caffeine through the use of carbon dioxide gas. Both processes leave no chemical residue on the beans.
Fair Trade Certification
Roasters can purchase a seal which states the coffee beans they purchased came from a very small farm where the farmer is guaranteed a set price which does not fluctuate with the market. This seal limits many farms in the medium-sized range, as they do not meet the small far criteria set for "Fair Trade". Many of the ideas behind the concept of Fair Trade are great, it is up to us- the buyers and consumers of quality coffee, to insist upon knowing where and how the products we consume were produced.
Coffee beans with a name like our Guatemala Chipacay, all come from the Chipacay Estate in Guatemala. When you see certain coffee names like Antigua or Sumatra Mandehling, this refers to a growing region, not a specific estate. Buying coffee directly from single estates gives the purchaser an additional tool for quality control. Often times, relationships between growers and purchasers are maintained for many years allowing for a lot of information about processing, farming techniques and working conditions.