Learn About Coffee

Hand Crafted Coffee

The Kaffeeklatsch is a true “hand crafted” roaster of coffees. Coffee roasting is an art as well as a science and requires years of experience. We do not rely on automation to determine optimum roast spectrums. Our master roaster, Grant Heath, who has been roasting specialty coffee for over 40 years, oversees all roasting. Grant has passed on his craft to one apprentice, Jonathon, now at journeyman level and has two current apprentices, Joanna and Katie. Coffee is a volatile, natural food product. Each variety of coffee has its ideal roasting time and temperature. However, different batches can be unpredictable with external temperature, relative humidity and many other factors contributing to how a particular roast behaves. Only a master roaster can make the subtle adjustments required during the roasting process. Roasting small batches of coffee on the premises allows The Kaffeeklatsch absolute control over bean quality and freshness.

Fair Trade Coffee

Fair Trade Certification guarantees that farmers and workers receive a fair price for the coffees that they produce. The Fair Trade price means that farmers can better provide for their families and that their children can go to school instead of working in the fields. These farmers can avoid cost-cutting practices that compromise quality. Producers are also encouraged to work towards organic production through price incentives.

Availability of Fair Trade coffees varies. Generally we have a least a few Fair Trade Certified coffees, currently that includes our offerings from Mexico and Peru as well as one of our Timor coffees. Although not certified, our Costa Rica La Minita and Costa Rica La Minita “Honey” coffees are produced using fair trade principles. We find that more producers are working within fair trade practices even without necessarily aiming for certification.

Certified Organic Coffee

Certified organic coffee is coffee that is produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or other agrochemicals. Certified organic coffees are reviewed by an independent certifying agency that inspects the coffee farm and monitors all the stages of production for adherence to sustainable agricultural techniques and ecologically sound practices. All coffee farm resources must test chemical-free for three consecutive years before they can be certified organic. After certification the farm is re-tested for organic qualification every year. When coffee from an organic farm is harvested and processed, it is isolated from all coffee coming from other vendors. The sacks are clearly marked “organic” to prevent them from being confused with the non-organic beans.

Organic coffee helps preserve the local ecosystem as well as the health of farmers and their families. Organic farming methods help the environment in many ways. Coffee products such as the pulp from coffee cherries can be reused in composting. Clearing undergrowth by hand rather than using herbicides prevents soil erosion. Wild life, especially migratory birds, is encouraged by the probation of pesticides. Often bananas, citrus fruit or other food crops are inter-planted with the coffee.

At The Kaffeeklatsch we purchase Certified Organic coffees when they are premium quality beans that meet our standards. Availability varies from time to time but again we generally offer a least a few Certified Organic coffees as well as some that follow the practices but do not have the certification. Current Certified Organic coffees include our offerings from Bali, Colombia, Ethiopia Harrar, Mexico, Peru and Timor.

Shade Grown Coffee

Shade grown coffee is coffee cultivated under a canopy of sun filtering shade trees. Shaded coffee farms are more ecologically sound with the shade trees providing natural fertilizer, mulch and a source of wood used for cooking, fuel and lumber. The shade trees provide a sanctuary for bird and animal life. The extent, type and utility of shade trees employed vary from farm to farm and country to country. Often the trees used for shading coffee offer another income producing crop such as citrus fruit and hardwood. The slower ripening of shaded coffee produces a more flavorful coffee bean.

Unlike organic coffee, there is still no established set of standards or an accepted or recognized certification body for shade grown coffees. Fortunately, in most coffee growing countries the majority of coffee is still cultivated under shade trees. Furthermore, most (but certainly not all) certified organic coffees are shade grown and many coffee estates, while not organic, do cultivate under a shade canopy.

Shade grown coffees available currently include our offerings from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. Meanwhile, coffees from Ethiopia, New Guinea, Sumatra and Timor are virtually all shade grown as well.