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Coffee beans are actually seeds inside a cherry that grows on a coffee bush. The plants were discovered around the Sixth Century in Ethiopia and then smuggled to other countries around the world. Today coffee grows in about 70 countries within the Tropics.

Coffee beans have little taste before they’re roasted. Green beans, as unroasted coffee beans are called, have a slight grassy smell and are very hard. The roasting process brings out the real taste of the coffee.

Coffee takes on the taste characteristics of the climate and soil in which it was grown.  This is a big reason why coffee grown in different places tastes very different. Various processing methods — like washed vs. unwashed — also can cause a taste difference.

There are two types of drinkable coffee in the world: arabica and robustaBongo Java, like most other specialty roasters, uses only high-quality arabica coffee. Arabica naturally has more flavor, yet approximately one-third less caffeine than it’s cheaper cousin. (Yes, truck stop brew has more caffeine than a cup of Bongo Blend.) Arabica sells for a premium not only because of its taste, but because of how it is grown and processed. Arabica plants take longer to start producing cherries, are more susceptible to disease, are grown at higher altitudes and require much more labor.


Bongo Java expands the definition of quality to include not just the taste of our coffee but also how it is grown and purchased. All of our coffee is Certified Organic and purchased from small family owned farms at prices higher than Fair Trade.


We strive to get as much money back to farmers as we can by participating in a system that ensures financial transparency and by working with CoopCoffees, a buying cooperative that we helped start. Want proof? Trace the beans in your coffee bag directly to their source at

We’ve been working with some farming cooperatives for more than 13 years. We’ve visited these farms and can see the positive impacts our Fair Trade purchases have on their communities. (Watch our short Peru Trip Video or our video about CoopCoffees.)


By supporting organic growers we have helped communities preserve the health of their water sources and help care for the environment that we are all tied to. We do not support plantation owners or mono-crop industrial coffee.


Bongo Java is dedicated to strengthening communities both at home and with our coffee growing partners. We understand that our destinies are intertwined and we act like it.


And if all that wasn’t enough, we also purchase only specialty grade coffee, which has scored above an 80 on the 100 point coffee grading scale. Quality coffee.



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