Earth Day at Alma Coffee 2024

Earth Day at Alma Coffee 2024

Happy Earth Day!

As a company centered around the byproduct of a healthy ecosystem, we are so proud to celebrate and recognize the importance of Earth Day. Alma Coffee was built on the promise to implement sustainable practices in all we do. This year, we are even donating part of the proceeds from our Earth Day latte to The Canopy Project. The Canopy Project is a non-profit organization that partners with communities around the world to reforest areas in need of rehabilitation. Their mission is to assist these communities in climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration. This mission is near and dear to our hearts given that our farms in Honduras are protected and preserved by banana trees that we have planted. We wanted to highlight all that our banana trees do for us, so this year we have made our Earth Day latte a Bananas Foster latte (and it is DELICIOUS). The banana trees help protect and nourish our coffee plants so that we can provide extraordinary coffee to you! 

We practice sustainability both here in the café in Holly Springs, Georgia, and on our farm, Finca Terrerito, in Honduras every single day. Here are 5 ways we practice sustainability:

Coffee Cherries

1. The Coffee Cherry

One of the most innovative ways that we pursue sustainability is in how we utilize all parts of the coffee cherry. The first part of the coffee cherry that we use is the mucilage. The mucilage comes as a byproduct of de-pulping the coffee cherry. Many farmers choose to get rid of this part of the coffee cherry, but at Finca Terrerito, we use the mucilage as an organic pesticide. This paired with the de-weeding of the land by hand ensures that our coffee is always chemical free!

We also use the outer husk of the coffee cherry – Cascara – in many different ways. We collect the majority of our cascara in the middle of the coffee processing phase. We in turn use this half-processed cascara as an organic fertilizer on the land. Cascara as a fertilizer has not only earned us the title of “Bird-Friendly” but has furthermore helped us in our mission of sustainability. On other farms, roughly 40% of coffee cherries are discarded and 97% of that ends up in a landfill.

You probably also recognize the word Cascara from our menu! In the café we serve Cascara as a refreshing tea. When served as a tea, Cascara offers the same caffeine hit as coffee (if not more) just with a different flavor profile. This is the perfect drink for those hot summer days where you want something refreshing, but also need a little extra energy. One of our favorite pairings right now is the Cascara Tea Shaker with our in-house Strawberry syrup!

Banana Trees at Finca T

2. Banana Trees

This year for Earth Day, we decided to create a Bananas Foster latte inspired by the banana trees that we have on the farm that provide shade to the coffee plants and nurture the field. The bananas intercropped with the coffee plants have proven to yield a more diverse coffee production system. The bananas provide shade coverage for the highly climate-sensitive crop that is coffee. Ask anybody at Alma Coffee who has been to the farm, and they will tell you, Honduras is HOT. In a climate like this, banana trees are essential for preventing fungal diseases like “brown eye spots” on the coffee leaves. Why banana trees? Compared to other shade trees, bananas are capable of remaining hydrated during the stress of drought conditions, which eliminates the competition in watering. This practice is commonly used on coffee farms in Uganda where the climate is much drier than Honduras. While droughts are not often a threat in Honduras, the moisture from the banana trees helps keep the soil continuously damp and fertilized. The banana trees are a vital part of our extraordinary coffee, and we want to bring attention to that aspect of how we use the Earth to create an incredible product. Stop by the café and try the Earth Day latte!

The Loring Roaster

3. The Loring Roaster

One thing that we will never quit talking about is our Loring machines. The Loring Smart Roasters we use emit 80% less emissions than other roasters, which made them the top choice for us. Something many people may not know is that coffee not grown ethically and with sustainability in mind can be incredibly disastrous for our environment. Traditional roasters can emit particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and fuel combustion byproducts. The problem with traditional roasters lies within the way they are constructed. The lack of filtering system or external afterburner allows for harmful emissions to circulate into the surrounding environment. This is where the Loring machine differs. Loring employee, Dennis Vogel, says, “Our roasters utilize a single burner to both roast coffee and incinerate the smoke created during the roasting process. This essentially eliminates the need for an external afterburner.”  For us, when choosing a roaster, the choice to go with a Loring was obvious.

 

Recyclable Mailers

4. Recyclable Mailers

If you have ordered coffee from us, then you have probably received it in one of our recyclable mailers. I’m sure you paid no mind to the mailer and likely grabbed your coffee and threw the mailer away. No judgement, I do the same thing every time I order something online. However, that mailer is actually helping us in our mission towards sustainability. For perspective, in the past we would ship all of our coffee in cardboard boxes, which created not only a cramped space in the roastery, but also created more waste for customers to deal with. These mailers have helped us cut down on not only the amount of cardboard we use, but also the amount of tape that we wield. By cutting down on how much cardboard and tape we use on a daily basis, we have been able to cut down on our carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Next time you order from us, take time to recycle the mailer – it’s slowly (but surely) helping us save the Earth!

Coffee Canister

5. Coffee Canister

Looking for a way to do your part this Earth Day? We’ve got the perfect option! Stop by the café or grab one of our coffee canisters online! These are an incredible option for those who want to save a little money while also making the world greener. The canister is a great way to ensure your coffee remains fresh while cutting down on the amount of plastic you are using (plus, it looks really cute). Choose between our 1-pound or 2.5-pound canister depending on how much coffee you consume! This re-usable alternative originated from the question, “How can we continue to implement more sustainable practices?” This question has led us down many avenues that have continuously created a more sustainable business.

 

These are just a few of the ways that we pursue sustainability at Alma Coffee. As a business that is hugely dependent on the Earth and its vitality, we are wholeheartedly committed to working in symbiosis with the environment rather than against it. We believe it is our mission to lead the initiative within the coffee industry towards preserving and protecting the environment. As management expert, Peter Drucker, once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

 

 

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