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 SUPPORT SMALL-SCALE FARMERS
We strive to get as much money back to producers as we can through Cooperative Coffees, a green bean importing system we helped start. It ensures financial transparency and provides a respectful, fair and human connection with our partners.
Cooperative Coffees has grown since it was founded in 1999. Today it annually imports more than 5 million pounds of organic and Fair Trade coffee, beans split between Bongo and 22 other roasting companies in the U.S. and Canada.
Cooperative Coffees develops long-term relationships with its producer partners — 90% of them maintained for five years or more. Bongo employees have visited farms around the world multiple times and experienced first hand the positive impact of these relationships. Watch our trip to Peru video or our video that explains how Cooperative Coffees works.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
By supporting certified organic coffee producers we help communities around the world protect their water sources and take care of their environment. We do not support mono-crop coffee. The producers we work with use natural fertilizers not chemicals to grow coffee across a diverse and mountainous landscape. All of that happens under the shade of trees in bird-friendly environments.
Right now we are launching a cutting-edge pilot project to pay our producer partners more for being “carbon negative.” This means the amount of carbon (CO2) stored in their soil and coffee trees is greater than the carbon they generate through farming operations. The project utilizes a data collection platform called the Cool Farm Tool. Money to fund the project will come from our Impact Fund, a 3-cent per pound fee paid by members of Cooperative Coffees to fight climate change and develop innovative organic farming techniques.
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 purchase only specialty grade coffee, which must score above an 80 on a 100-point grading scale. Bongo coffees are all of the highest quality and roasted to order.
Coffee beans are actually seeds inside a cherry that grows on a coffee tree. 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, what unroasted coffee beans are called, have a slight grassy smell and are very hard. The roasting process brings out the taste of coffee that we all know and love.
Coffee takes on the taste characteristics of the climate and soil in which it was grown. This is a big reason that coffee from different places tastes differently. Various processing methods — like washed vs. unwashed (natural, dry processed) — also cause a difference in taste.
There are two types of drinkable coffee in the world: arabica and robusta. Bongo Java, like most other specialty roasters, uses only high-quality arabica coffee. Arabica naturally has more flavor, yet less caffeine than its cheaper cousin. 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, especially when grown organically without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
If you’d like to learn more about our specialty coffee, please contact us to schedule a tour of our roasting company.