Our relationships with small farmer co-ops lead to us securing the best coffee available. The reverse is true, too: the coffee leads us to innovative relationships and projects. Here are a few of the steps that are part of this dynamic coffee supply chain.
The small farmers we work with around the world are leaders in social change, investing in things like health care, roads, and microcredit programs. They’re also leaders in coffee innovation. This might be advanced soil analysis, or using GPS technology to select specific coffee lots, or the construction of solar drying beds. Projects like these produce delicious coffee that is reserved for Equal Exchange. Read more about a soil analysis project in Mexico.
In coffee growing, every detail matters: the environment the coffee is grown in, the organic cultivation practices, handpicking coffee cherries at their peak ripeness, the fermentation process, and evenly drying the coffee in the sun. The farmers we work with use great care and skill to produce sweet, unique flavors in coffees, every step of the way.
Check out this portrait of a Ugandan coffee farm.
We have four different roast categories. Our lightest is Medium, followed by Full City, Vienna, and French Roast. We offer over 40 coffees, each one highlighting special flavor characteristics and blend combinations that are perfected by our team of roasters and quality control technicians.
We spend loads of time cupping, sorting, and analyzing each coffee that comes into our lab, so that the coffees that leave our warehouse meet our intense standards. Cupping is the industry term used for the process of analyzing a coffee based on its sensory qualities—like its aromas and flavors. The coffee is slurped, or aspirated, from a spoon.
Watch (and listen!) as members of the Equal Exchange Quality Control team slurp away with Peruvian cuppers in our lab.
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