Palmetto coffee shop & roastery now open.  Free shipping on all orders over $25

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Palmetto coffee shop & roastery now open.  Free shipping on all orders over $25

Palmetto coffee shop & roastery now open.
  Free shipping on all orders over $25

Close this search box.

Q & A with Gold Mountain Coffee

We have the pleasure of continuing our relationship with Gold Mountain coffee. If you have enjoyed our Nicaragua coffee then you want to hear more about our friends.

How I got into coffee:

I got into coffee because of the people, and specialty coffee became a mechanism for fighting poverty. I was originally in Nicaragua to study a debt pardon initiative and understand the economy better. Since a significant segment of the economy runs on coffee, literally and figuratively, my thesis involved interviewing farmers, pickers, farm workers, middlemen, exporters, officials, and others along the supply chain. While there, people kept offering me coffee farms and eventually I started Finca Idealista and had it join a Fair Trade coop. Unfortunately, members of the coop told me that they could not feed their family and that the higher Fair Trade prices were not something they saw come to fruition in practice. I then decided to create Gold Mountain Coffee Growers, a farming group that does its own exporting and importing, with a huge amount of quality control along the way. The goal is to fight poverty through coffee quality, and we’re achieving that goal to a large extent. However, poverty is not something that’s easy to alleviate and there are still challenges. That’s why it’s so important for us to team up with roasters like Banyan to make a positive impact through direct relationships between farmers and roasters.

Challenges for 2022:

The biggest challenge for 2022 is the rising cost of fertilizer, food, just about all inputs, diesel and gasoline, labor, shipping, supplies, and just about everything. Farmers who are economically challenged, even if they receive higher prices for their coffee, are paying double what they paid recently for fertilizer and other inputs. This dissuades them from fertilizing and lowers their crop yields.
Coffee cherries

The environment:

We have coffees that involve biodynamic practices, such as:
  • Buying a rainforest just to protect it (our flagship farm)
  • Using a mushroom instead of insecticide to protect against coffee borer beetle
  • Using machetes instead of herbicides (glyphosates)
  • Using over 8,400 pounds of chicken droppings annually, and coffee cherries, to make an organic fertilizer
  • Recycling water with volcanic filters
However, we don’t believe that almost any certified organic coffee is truly organic in reality. Therefore, we don’t offer certified organic coffees. We see too many violations constantly, and any farmer we’ve seen who we know to truly only use organic products seems to lose his or her farm to disease (therefore from experience we’ve come to the conclusion that the organic label is more about marketing than reality unfortunately, though we very much believe in being as organic as possible without having farms fail).
Last thought, you may notice that many organic coffees are cheap. When that’s the case, it’s even more difficult to believe that those farmers are certified organic. If you sell your coffee for the C market + say 40 cents, you’re not earning enough to maintain an organic certification given the enormous decrease in harvest you’d have compared to a farmer that uses non-organic-complying inputs. It’s more often than not, at least to some extent, about marketing, not reality.

Our goals:

We seek to fight poverty through coffee quality. Whether that means finding the most incredible way to do a carbonic maceration or yeast process, or using less-common varieties to achieve high cupping scores, or having some volume lots that are moderately priced but still help farmers get ahead, we are all for it.

The future of Nicaraguan coffee:

We’d like to see a future for all coffee, in Nicaragua and throughout the world, in which the price of coffee stops farming families from scraping by and even enduring hunger and rather allows them and their communities to flourish. We’d also like to see less environmental impact resulting from the coffee supply chain.

Come visit us in Nicaragua anytime and check out what we’re up to @goldmtncoffee on Instagram!

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