We’ve been working with Extract Coffee Roasters for a long time now, and have an amazing relationship built on 7 years of trust and openness. They’ve been phenomenal during the development of our new House and Guest coffees, as well as training all of our baristas to SCA standard, but one of the things we love most is the relationship, trust and respect they have with the growers they work with.
Here’s a peek into the world of Relationship Coffee, and the kind of trade you’re supporting when you choose to buy a coffee from Boston Tea Party.
We’re 100% confident that Relationship Coffee is the way to go in terms of ethics, as it involves working with farmers long-term (not flitting from farm to farm), plus we can ensure consistency and quality in every cup. But what does ‘Relationship Coffee’ actually involve, and how does ‘the relationship’ aspect work? We had a chat to Dave, head roaster and co-founder at Extract, who gave us some insight into the bits you can’t Google…
(Psst, this glossary of coffee jargon brilliantly explains the differences between Relationship Coffee – often called Sustainable – Fairtrade, Organic, Rainforest Alliance, and all the other certifications under the sun!)
Who grows the coffee we use in our House Espresso?
The Colombian beans are from a single-estate, family-owned farm called La Marianela, which is run by a guy called Hernan, and his son Pablo. The Peruvian beans come from a co-op, where a group of farmers all share access to grading, drying and cupping, that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
How do you get started with ‘building a relationship’ with a farmer?
We get to know each other! The first year we worked with Pablo and his Dad, we bought 6 bags of coffee, and last year we bought 1,000. We keep in touch over WhatsApp, and I head out to visit at least once a year – believe it or not, they all use the latest iPhones, and the reception at 4,000ft is some of the best you can get!
How else do you make sure you’re supporting the farmers?
We help fundraise for the Peruvian co-op, so they can continue to grow their businesses. Peru can get seriously tropical, which lengthens the drying process; we (and Boston) recently raised enough cash to buy the co-op a new parabolic dryer which saves the farmers hundreds of hours, making their business more productive and financially viable.
Whether it’s Dan who trains all our baristas, Ash who roasts our beans, Kit who keeps our espresso machines in tip-top condition, or Dave who builds relationships with the farmers, we’re all-in when it comes to working with Extract.
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