Our first "Forest Coffees" will arrive in few weeks now in Europe ! Jacques introduces this singular approach to you and exposes what those coffees certified to the consumers.
A new Belco's venture
A rich and complex agro-forestry system, for a rich and complex cup!
Our new venture is the result of a 10-year long reflection based on our sourcing work carried out in the west and south-west of Ethiopia. During our dealings with Ethiopian farmers, we realised that they were the inheritors and actors in an original and complex agro-forestry system where nature goes beyond the simple notion of growing coffee under shade.
We were struck by the setting of this farming system: Ethiopian primary forests at altitude
. Then, over time we observed that it had been worked on by men and women who brought these terroirs to life. In reality, we were dealing with a highly elaborate system that was heir to several centuries of farming practices respectful of the biodiversity of Ethiopian forests.
In this way, through the promotion of coffee agro-forestry, we aim to showcase the everyday work - often dating back over a hundred years – of the farmers
who make a living from and live with coffee, whilst respecting the natural habitat of the arabica coffee plants.
The aims of our Forest coffees project are:
- Promote agriculture which has inherited ancient know-how (intangible heritage),
- Preserve high altitude rainforests in Ethiopia and around the world (botanical heritage),
- Diversify revenue streams for farmers (honey, spices etc...),
- Preserve and promote the diversity of coffees and therefore the diversity of craft roasting.
What is a Forest Coffee ?
Much more than just a coffee grown under shade, forest coffees guarantee
A high level of biodiversity
- 40-50% shade minimum
- 10 different local tree species minimum (presented in detail in the herbarium)
- Only wild mountain forests or agro-forestry (semi-forest) origins
Accurate and comprehensive traceability
- Cartography and precise GPS location of the plot
- Name of producer
- Accurate description of the growing system
- A score over 80 (using Q Cupping standards), with the profile made by a Q grader.
- Altitude between 1000 and 3000m.
This year Belco has referenced a dozen of natural coffees from Anfilloo (Henna, Yarer, Dulli, Wabaa, Gamoji) and Guji (Chekata, Dambi Uddo lot 1 to 5):
Jacques, for the Belco team