Urth Caffé's Worldwide Partnerships Produce Heirloom, Organic Coffees That Are Healthier for All
Urth Caffé Co-Founder Shallom Berkman met with Aurora Maria Izquierdo Torres and members of the Arhuaco tribe in Pueblo Bello located in the mountains of Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria to discuss Urth Caffé’s heirloom, organic coffee standards.
Aurora is the founder of Urth’s heirloom, organic coffee source in Colombia, a cooperative of 700 small-scale coffee farming family members from four indigenous groups – the Arhuacos, Koguis, Wiwas, and Kankuamos, each with a distinct language that live in the surrounding mountains.
Urth coffee is harvested exclusively from heirloom coffee trees producing the lowest acid coffee in the world. There are several types of heirloom stock used to produce Urth coffee including: Geisha, Typica, Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon and others. Heirloom coffee trees have never been genetically modified from their ancient, wild ancestors.
Our source farms are located at high altitudes and Urth coffees are harvested and processed with the finest European techniques including picking only ripe cherries and triple hand sorting to find the finest beans.
Only the top 1% of the yield will be good enough. Heirloom trees require deep shade and grow up to 20 feet tall. Heirloom coffee possesses superior sweetness, aroma, less acid, and is easier to digest than coffee from conventional, hybridized trees.
Above left, Shallom speaks with one of the farmers of Urth Caffé’s source heirloom, organic Colombian coffee farm. His farm cultivates heirloom, organic coffee on a mountain slope at 6,000 feet in the dense rainforest of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria, preserving the indigenous trees and the habitat of howler monkeys, birds and countless creatures of the forest.
Near this dedicated heirloom, organic coffee farm, mountain slopes are deforested as far as the eye can see so genetically modified coffee trees can grow in direct sunlight, grow shorter for easy harvesting, and yield tremendous volumes of conventional coffee beans that contain more acid.
Heirloom, organic coffee trees are planted interspersed between the indigenous trees and fruit trees of the dense rainforest. Above, Shallom Berkman demonstrates sustainable practices and harvesting from the wild coffee species that grow tall in the shade of the rainforest canopy that is essential for sustaining the forests for generations to come.
Above: Concrete coffee washing stations with a coffee cherry-pulp grinding machine. The coffee cherries are soaked in water in these stations for 24-48 hours and then the fruit is ground off the coffee beans in the grinding machine.
The fruity pulp is then washed off the beans until only the yellow skin or “pergamino” remain.
The beans are then left to dry on the drying bed tables.
Above left: Farmers are sun-drying coffee beans on movable drying bed tables with handles. The coffee beans have already had the red cherry fruit washed and ground off, then the beans with a yellow layer of skin called “pergamino” are dried in the sun. Once they are fully dried, the pergamino can be ground off the green coffee beans.
Anytime it rains, the tables are carried off quickly to a safe, dry place.
Above right: Some farmers have built clear canopies above the drying bed tables, so the drying coffee beans do not need to be moved when a sudden and frequent rainstorm materializes.
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Shallom Berkman discusses goals for The Mountain Gorilla Coffee Estate™ project with farming partners
at Kisoro, Uganda, located in the southwestern Virunga mountain range
Urth Caffé helped to organize 40 small coffee-farming family members into The Mountain Gorilla Coffee Estate™ project. These farms produce the world’s best heirloom, organic coffee exclusively for Urth Caffé at the world’s highest altitude – 9,000 feet above sea level on the border region of Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo.
Heirloom coffee must be shade grown to ensure quality and protect rainforest habitat. Coffee trees that are grown under a canopy of larger trees produce the best quality coffee. The coffee cherry matures more slowly and produces coffee that is sweeter and highly aromatic.
Mountain Gorillas are vegetarian and live in perfect harmony with the farming families of the Mountain Gorilla Coffee Estate™ which helps to protect the Mountain Gorillas habitat.
In the photo above taken in Bwindi, Uganda – in the same forest that many of the Mountain Gorilla Coffee Estate™ family farms cultivate heirloom, organic coffee exclusively for Urth Caffé – Shallom Berkman stands 5 feet behind a 400-pound male silverback Mountain Gorilla, the largest and most endangered primate in the world.
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Enjoy Heirloom, Organic Coffee from Colombia
In These Urth Caffé Blends
Pick up from your local Urth Caffé. Also available on the Urth App and by clicking on “Order Online & Delivery” at the top of www.urthcaffe.com – click on your local Urth, then click “Order Online,” then click on “Bulk Coffee.”
Order from the Urth Store here.