Have you ever wondered, where your organic coffee comes from?
How it grows? Whether it makes a difference for a better climate to choose biodiverse jungles, instead of monocultural deforastated land plots?It does!
We are happy to present to you, some of the people, we work with and from whom we have learnt so much about appreciating our earth, our planet.
We source your organic coffee just right next to Bali.
On Lombok, an island, although blessed with beautiful nature and wild animals, also suffered from various earthquakes, which in 2018 shook us awake to create Impact Berry.
Volcanos on Lombok nurture the soil the coffee trees grow on.
Ruslan was born among coffee trees
This is Ruslan. Coffee goes back 50 years in his family, each generation passing on their secrets to the next and improving their growing methods come rain or shine - or earthquakes. Here in the thick, humid jungle of Lombok, the coffee plants grow in among a variety of tropical species, like sugar cane, cocoa and vanilla (which, we were surprised to learn, is actually a species of orchid). Despite his young age, Ruslan has a deep connection with nature, which is evident in the patient and caring way he tends to the plants. When he talks about coffee, there is a sparkle in his eye. He loves the stuff. It’s in his blood, he says. And surprisingly for us it was to get to know, that he was born in between the coffee trees while his mother was harvesting.
Last year, we purchased our very first 20kg (15kg of a very special robusta variety and 5kg of pure organic arabica beans). We roasted them already with Roastworks expertise by then, and the bags were placed in the organic shop chain "Just Green", which unfortunately closed all its shops on the 29th of September 2019.
Then afterwards we bought the next 100kg also from Ruslan´s family farm.
"Every house used to have one banana, one coffee and one lemon tree...", Pak Wathan
Meet Pak Wathan. He’s on a mission to support Lombok’s business opportunities and help other farmers get better yields, boosting the economy of the island for the benefit of the whole community. Also he is an active part of Baraka Nusantara.
We organized the English fun camp last September together with them.
He lives in a tiny village in the northeast corner of Lombok, which has been struck by strong earthquakes at least twice in his lifetime. But that hasn’t dampened his humor - he had us in stitches several times during our visits. He also taught us a lot about the village life.
“In the old days,” Wathan says, as we walk through the little uneven streets together, “every house had a banana tree, a lemon tree and a coffee tree in front of it.
The banana leaves were for putting out fires in the dry season, the lemon scent was for keeping the mosquitoes away and the coffee was to serve to guests.” When he’s not out teaching other farmers, he takes big love in taking care of his own garden with his family, where they grow guavas, avocados, mulberries and, of course, coffee.
Sual owns a piece of the jungle
This is Sual. She’s one of the most active 60-year-olds we’ve ever met. Every day, she and her husband walk an hour and a half from their village in central Lombok to the piece of jungle they own - as if it were nothing! Besides coffee, they grow durian, papaya, cacao and jackfruit, not only to ensure biodiversity but also to keep the harvest going all year round.
“Durian fetches the highest prices in the market, but it grows up high and is very hard to reach,” she says.
She showed us the difference between two species of cacao plants she’s growing: one with green fruits that turn yellow when ripe, and the other with black fruits that turn red when ripe. After harvesting, she sits with the other women drying the coffee beans on round bamboo sieves and sorting them deftly by hand - chatting and laughing loudly all the while. When it was time for us to leave, she blew us a big kiss, and we could still hear her signature cheeky laugh as we drove away.
With every bag you purchase you are voting for permacultural, organic farming practices which enable healthier food and real flavors, besides a well treated planet.
Take a look what that means in Hong Kong.
Thank you for reading our blog!
- text by Sonja and Mel
- fotos by Sonja and Timo
- technical advises by Tigger and Alice