The Coffee Team – Divided by Borders, United by Coffee
Café Solar® is the product of a unique international collaboration seeking to create a new model of agroforestry that conserves biodiversity and watersheds, while rewarding small farmers as stewards of this system. Key to the development of the model are the following participants:
- The Mesoamerican Development Institute with its innovations in coffee drying with renewable energy and forest conserving/regenerating Integrated Open Canopy™ cultivation methods.
- University research partners including: Department of Environmental Conservation & Center for Women & Work, University of Massachusetts & Norther Research Center, US Forest Service; National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH); Tulane University; Cornell University; Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Department of Economics and Finance , University of North Carolina; Warnell School of Forestry, University of Georgia.
- Organized small producers of coffee and biofuels, including Birding Coffee S.A. and Cooperative COMISUYL in the Yoro Biological Corridor, Honduras.
- Honduran Park, Wildlife, and Forest Services.
- Municipalities and local water boards.
- Coffee importers and roaster/distributors:
- Merchants of Green Coffee (MGC)
A soulful coffee supplier sourcing and selling high-quality coffees in support sustainable coffee initiatives, Toronto Canada
- Nordiska Kafferosteriet
Roaster/Supplier in Sweden, roasting with renewable energy
- Red Barn Coffee Roasters
Artisan roaster in Upton, Massachusetts, roasting and distributing Café Solar®
- Bay Coffee & Tea
A minatory owned company serving organic coffee in the Tampa Florida region with cafes at University of South Florida and Tampa International Airport
- Merchants of Green Coffee (MGC)
About Café Solar® & What We Stand For
Our consumer choices are having a significant impact on our future and Café Solar® presents a bright opportunity. It allows consumers to transform an everyday action—drinking coffee—into a powerful act of positive change.
A first-of-its-kind coffee, Café Solar® is solar-dried using innovative renewable energy technology and is promoting the implementation of a new form of coffee cultivation proven to conserve and or restore forest habitat on private lands—supporting biodiversity, healthy watersheds, and sequestering carbon to mitigate climate change.
Essentially, the goal of Café Solar® is to better coffee by giving consumers a better option.
A Coffee Unlike Any Other
Café Solar® coffee embodies a unique quality that results from efforts to improve each stage of the coffee’s production.
It is the first coffee to be processed using 100 % clean, renewable energy from solar and biofuels. Patented high efficiency drying towers operate at the ideal temperature to maintain quality and ensure uniform drying. The technology eliminates entirely the use of fuelwood that is used with conventional industrial dryers while reducing electricity consumption by 80%.
Cafe Solar® is grown using a new agroforesty system, called Integrated Open Canopy™ (IOC), which conserves and/or restores forest habitat while boosting yields. Coffee is produced at high elevations, which serve as the headwaters of the watersheds the serve the community and municipalities. Maintaining forests in coffee regions is key to sustainable production and critical for remaining forests and threatened parks.
Café Solar® is a fairly traded coffee, using certified Fair Trade. Other models are likely to be employed that will allow us to purchase directly from farmers (prohibited by Fair Trade protocols in Central America). The program is also providing additional revenues to small farms by aggregating carbon offsets achieved thought the adoption of Integrated Open Canopy™ production in combination with carbon neutral processing. This provides more stability for farmers while providing ecosystems services for the Yoro Biological Corridor.
Café Solar® is stored and shipped in bags with hermetic liners to preserve quality and prevent the absorption of moisture and subsequent development of mold and ochratoxin, a significant health concern. Since 2005, the European Union has maintained strict standards for Ochratoxin A in coffee, which survives the heat of the roasting processing, and is a suspected carcinogen.
Origin: Yoro Biological Corridor, Yoro, Honduras
The Cup: Perfectly balanced between full body and pleasing acidity; this coffee is exceptionally smooth. Toasted caramel aromas combined with a sweet syrupy texture contribute to a lasting finish.
SCAA Rating: 85
An Exchange in Which Everyone Benefits
The Café Solar® program is founded on the belief that the best coffee is one that benefits each and every hand it passes through. Built on two decades of hard work, Café Solar® strives to improve each link in its supply chain; starting with the way in which the coffee is grown and processed, and ending in how it is traded, roasted and consumed.
Pioneering Solar-Dried Coffee
Coffee processing is highly energy intensive. The thermal energy in conventional industrial coffee dryers is provided by burning wood from tropical forests. In fact, we estimate that roughly 3 sq. cm of tropical forest habitat is destroyed for each cup of coffee we consume.
To address this problem, Café Solar® is dried using hybrid solar/biofuel industrial dryers to reduce this component of deforestation associated with the coffee industry.
As Co-Managers of Pico Pijol and Montaña de Yoro National Parks, the Mesoamerican Development is scaling-up its program with your support to expand carbon-neutral processing and forest-friendly IOC coffee production throughout the Yoro Biological Corridor—a region linking eight threatened national parks.