October 20, 2018
Daterra Coffee is the world's first coffee farm to receive Level A Certification from the Rainforest Alliance for sustainability - and we are thrilled to have partnered with them to bring this delicious coffee to you!
To kick-off our Daterra offerings, we've chosen their Sweet Blue coffee - which is a combination of semi-washed, pulped raisin and natural processing. This coffee has a lovely acidity with sweet, citrus tasting notes and milk chocolate texture.
"Daterra" translates to the "From the Earth", and the name couldn't be more fitting. The Daterra Coffee project was planned to produce specialty coffee, grounded on environmental preservation and social development.
The farm is located in the Cerrado region of Brazil, with a desert-like climate similar to the savanna in Kenya, which proved to be an ideal, controllable environment for growing coffee. Although they own 18,000 acres of land, only about half of that is planted with coffee. The rest is dedicated to preserving the natural flora & fauna of the region.
We were lucky enough to get an invitation to visit Daterra's farm for 4 days earlier this year, and yes... it is now our new favorite spot in the whole world :) While we were there we got to experience all-things-Daterra.... learning about the history of the farm and the vision that Luis (the farm's founder) had before he even knew he wanted to grow coffee...... to the sustainable way they grow, harvest and process on the farm....to their plans for the future.
Every person on the farm was fantastic and welcoming. The house that we stayed in on the farm was perfect. The home-cooked meals (with ingredients grown right on the farm) were out of this world and our mouths are still watering, dreaming of going back next year.
Our days were spent touring the farm, learning the Daterra way, and cupping some truly fantastic coffees. Our nights were spent together, enjoying a thoughtfully prepared dinner followed by a board game or two with friends.
The first coffee we bring to you from Daterra is Sweet Blue, but rest assured there will be more coffee from Daterra in our future.
Below is an excerpt from Daterra's website about their history & sustainability practices:
It all started with a dream from Luis. He wanted to prove that sustainability does pay off – both in quality and profitability. That is how Daterra was born 35 years ago – first with milk, then fruits and cattle until we settled in coffee: it was the perfect culture to build Luis’ dream of making agriculture not only less impactful, but also able to regenerate the environment and give back to the community.
He bought his first piece of land for the coffee project in 1993. The farm was in very bad shape, and Luis needed a good agronomist for the mission of restoring it. Our Leopoldo, a.k.a. “Leo”, was the man for the job: he had green thumb, and the ability to translate Luis’ vision into reality.
At the time, the word sustainability wasn’t even spoken about. It wasn’t an important concept like today. How to make a sustainable agriculture in a time no one seemed to care about things like “saving water”, “protecting the fauna”, and so on? Luis counted on some of the most brilliant minds in agriculture at the time to teach us how to do it. The agronomy university, ESALQ, joined the cause and together we developed Daterra’s first environmental standards.
Daterra applied for the Rainforest Alliance certification 15 years ago. At the time, no farms in Brazil were RA certified. We then invited RA to use our lands to develop the certification standards applied to Brazilian conditions. Brazil is today the biggest RA-certified coffee producer in the world.
It was a tough journey. This philosophy threatened an old system that was easier and more profitable: an agricultural system that took as much as possible from the land, returning the least possible to it. Our beliefs were different, and we would stick to them, even when others tried to convince us the opposite.
Few people understand how complex is to grow specialty coffee, and it seemed pointless to insist on a cause that the market didn’t value. Countless times we heard that sustainability was not important because “you can’t taste it”. Luis and Leo were convinced of their beliefs though, and somehow they managed to bring all of Daterra’s team onboard.
Time passed and as the specialty coffee progressed, the industry’s values became aligned our own. It took over 20 years until the project “Daterra” became financially profitable. It was a long journey and we are proud of every bit of it.
Today we celebrate being the first Level A Rainforest Alliance certified farm in the world, and that started with a vision 35 years ago.
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