HILLSIDE COFFEE AND TEA
We use 100% arabica beans, they are 100% fair trade. We put all our six senses into choosing the coffee we serve on a daily basis. On any day of the year you can rely on us to provide your taste buds with mildly roasted Ethiopian Yergacheffe and Dark French roast. Our espresso drinks are made with Espresso Toscano which makes a very smooth, rich and delicious cup.
We also have feature coffees. With the help of our Q-certified roaster we find gems from all around the world and bring them to our shop. They originate from small farms and each of them have their own unique story. They are always roasted in small batches and they are of a limited supply which usually lasts from two to three month. Come by and see what part of this wonderful world your cup of coffee will take you today.
Coffee and Certifications
Being one of the world's most popular items, there are a lot of opinions and information (and certifications) thrown about. Some feel organic is the way it all should be, others argue for fair trade and some for bird friendly.
In response to many coffee growing horror stories (see Black Gold), certifications exploded in coffee during the 1990s and the start of the new millenium. This was a positive response to many negative situations found throughout the world and allowed customers to have greater knowledge and control over the ethics of a product they purchased so consistently. It led to a more sustainable industry for smaller farmers in the form of controlled pricing (Fair Trade); it led to more environmentally conscious growing practices (Certified Organic); it led to greater efforts to conserve and manage rainforests (Rainforest Alliance); and it even led to a greater awareness of birds who move through regions growing coffee (Shade Grown).
Realistically, however, how can a customer tell if their coffees are ethical? First and foremost, taste the coffee. Great coffee cannot use an extensive amount of chemicals.
They may not be certified organic (to save certification costs and allow flexibility in case of a pest outbreak), but follow organic process as that is what great coffee demands. Great coffee cannot grow in monoculture. It requires shade and higher altitudes. Great coffee also costs more. Today, small farms producing great coffee can still access wider markets through Cup of Excellence and larger farms producing great coffee charge more - several times what Fair Trade sets as its price. Great coffee is hard to grow and make. To grow great coffee you need skilled pruners and pickers. To mill it properly, you need knowledgeable full-time employees and the necessary equipment. To get all of this, as a grower, you have to pay and keep those skilled people.
In essence, ethics and quality coffee go hand in hand. If your coffeeshop is a strong believer in transparent business practices and produces an excellent cup of coffee (maybe try it without cream or get an espresso-based beverage 8oz or smaller to test it), chances are their coffee is purchased well above fair trade levels, using organic process in a bird friendly environment with highly skilled workers paid above the industry average. Even so, you should always ask. The more your shop knows about its coffee, the better you can feel about your decision to support them.
A market practice that seeks to secure the livelihood of farmers and producers of coffee in developing countries by paying a premium for their harvest, ensuring that they receive a fair wage, that the farms adopt sustainable practices and govern in a way that promotes democracy. http://fairtrade.ca
Organic farming promotes the sustainable health and productivity of the ecosystem – soil, plants, animals and people. Organic foods are farmed in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way, focusing on soil regeneration, water conservation and animal welfare.
More about organic please visit http://www.ocia.org/
Shade Grown coffee is the practice of sustainable agriculture, planting natural coffee trees in the deep shade of the rainforest canopy. This more traditional way of agriculture preserves the jungle canopy and encourages a biological diversity of plants and animals.