La Colombe Coffee Roasters: February 2017

America Deserves Better Coffee

This simple but profound premise is the phrase that drove La Colombe to fruition.

We are excited to have La Colombe back on bar from last year. However, much has changed for the company in the short time it has been since their last feature on the Arrow Coffee slow bar. If you keep an eye out, you'll probably see their canned Draft Lattes making their way to a Whole Foods, or Target near you. Especially for our Wichita, and Kansas City pals. By combining cold pressed espresso, and perfectly frothed milk they might have found out how to can perfection.

One of the main things that stuck out to us about La Colombe was what they called Story Coffee, and their philosophy of being a National Local Roaster. In fact, on each of their packages you will find the story of that bean. Currently, we have the Colombia San Roque on bar. Producers in the San Roque Association process and dry their own coffees and deliver them to quality analyst, Duver Rojas, who tastes the coffees every day and pays incentives for the best beans The farmers' hard work on the steep hillsides unfolding below the San Roque Monastery and above the Magdalena River created this coffee of refined sweetness.

However, the most impressive thing to us about La Colombe is their work with the country of Haiti to start the Haiti Coffee Academy. More than 200 years ago, the territory that’s now known as Haiti grew half of the world’s coffee. After decades of political instability and disaster, the output yield is about one third of that of Central America. La Colombe has gone from sourcing to growing, working with Haitian farmers to found the Haiti Coffee Academy, a model coffee farm complete with a nursery, wet mill, tool-lending program, and community water supply system. This is about empowering others.

Here’s a quick rundown. In the past two and a half years, the Haiti Coffee Academy has accomplished:

– 27,500 trees planted
– 40,000 additional trees seeded
– 350 farming families trained
– 6 full-time employees
– 4 contract trainers
– 20 part-time assistants

But you’re probably wondering: what does the Academy actually do?

The Academy provides the coffee-growing community of southeast Haiti with materials and training to help farmers increase the production and quality of their coffee. Farming families can take classes on seedling care, pruning, best harvesting practices, and they receive the Academy’s support in bringing their beans to market. Not only did they start this venture, but they have handed it back to the people of Haiti and the coffee that they are sourcing is some of the first harvests in decades.

To us this embodies community. Drink local. Think global.