All of our coffees are Certified Organic. Cafe Altura imports and roasts only coffees certified organic by the USDA’s list of accredited agencies . Our small, batch-roasting facility in Ventura, California is also certified as an organic production facility. Our imported coffees and the roasting facility are inspected annually to assure compliance with organic standards.
The certification of organic coffee follows the bean from farm to cup. In order to label their yield as organic, all farms must meet a stringent criteria for organic production which audits everything from mulching techniques, soil quality, pest management and water conservation to processing and transportation. With the added costs of organic cultivation techniques comes an increased premium for the beans on the open market. The extra cost paid by Cafe Altura and that of our customers supports products that aim to achieve great quality without sacrifice to the land, the workers or the fauna. Learn more about the National Organic Program
The care needed to provide the best organic coffees has as much to do with whats overhead as it does with whats underfoot. A healthy shade canopy of mixed native trees provides benefits to both the consumer and the ecology of the farm. Consumers are rewarded with increased flavor complexity as a result of the longer ripening times and nutrient rich soils, and the surrounding ecosystem benefits by using the trees as a home and natural corridor between plots of natural habitat.
The habitat created by the trees is arguably most appreciated by the birds which live on and around the farm. By protecting against soil erosion, brutal sun exposure, over drying of soils and loss of native animal habitat with the use of native trees, organic farmers continue to find sustainable solutions to problems using techniques developed by nature.
We currently offer 8 Fair Trade Certified coffees. Cafe Altura was founded on and continues to operate on the premise that, in order to create the best coffees, the human element of the supply chain needs to be tended with as much care and attention as the coffee itself. Cafe Altura’s founders visited the Finca Irlanda in Chiapas, Mexico thirty years ago and witnessed first hand the successes of a farm where plants, animals and humans lived and worked together.
Long before Fair Trade was a certification one could use to label their product, we sourced our coffees from family farms dedicated to the community and its health. Today, we are grateful to have a certification agency that can regulate and oversee the well being of the farmers in countries around the world. Fair Trade certified goods are just that. Fair.
From far-away farms to your cup, coffees labeled Fair Trade come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. Your purchase helps farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities.
Cafe Altura carries 5 Decaffeinated coffees, that are produced using only mountain water and are 100% certified organic. In the decaffeination process, the green coffee beans are immersed in water in order to extract the caffeine. The water contains the soluble components of the coffee beans which hold the elements of the flavor, so that, during the extraction of the caffeine the beans maintain their original components.
To separate the caffeine from the water containing the soluble components, the water passes through a special filter which removes the caffeine. This results in “coffee solid soluble charged water”: saturated with flavor components but free of caffeine, which is used again in the extraction process. As a result of this process we obtain coffee beans that are 99.9% caffeine free.
Healthy Food, Healthy People, Healthy Planet
“Pushing the Biodynamic segment is the logical next step in sustainability and soil fertility. Now that we have made Organics and Non-GMO household names, we are creating a niche for “beyond organic” products grown thru the most ecologically sound methods.” Errol Schweizer, Executive Grocery Coordinator, Whole Foods Market
Today’s savvy consumer isn’t just seeking out food that is healthy and good for them and their families, they increasingly want food that was grown, processed and brought to market in a way that is healthy for the planet.
Biodynamic farming involves managing a farm utilizing the principles of a living organism. A concise model of a living organism ideal would be a wilderness forest. In such a system there is a high degree of self-sufficiency in all realms of biological survival. Fertility and feed arise out of the recycling of the organic material the system generates. Avoidance of pest species is based on biological vigor and its intrinsic biological and genetic diversity. Water is efficiently cycled through the system.
While agriculture takes nature to a state that is one step removed from wilderness, the wisdom of the farmer that guides its course can reflect these ancient principles of sustainability. The view of the farm organism extends beyond the fence line and includes the tangible and intangible forces that work through it. Examples include the climate, inherent wildlife of the earth (above and below the ground), the light and warmth from the sun and the more distant astronomical influences.
Biodynamic agriculture attempts to harmonize all of these factors within a holistic, living farm system. The food that results is very pure and true to its essence and provides deeply penetrating nutrition that is essential to an increasingly unhealthy human population.
In day-to-day practice the goal is to create a farm system that is minimally dependent on imported materials, and instead meets its needs from the living dynamics of the farm itself. It is the biodiversity of the farm, organized so that the waste of one part of the farm becomes the energy for another, that results in an increase in the farm’s capacity for self-renewal and ultimately makes the farm sustainable.
This requires that, as much as possible, a farm be regenerative rather than degenerative. Consider carefully materials that are imported onto the modern day organic farm. Where do they come from? Often they can be tracked back to a natural resource provided by the earth. Examples include petroleum to move materials around, ancient mineral deposits, by-products of unsustainable agriculture-related industry, and the life of the seas and waterways. An important social value of Biodynamic farming is that it does not depend on the mining of the earth’s natural resource base but instead emphasizes contributing to it.
All of our Canned Coffees are Certified as both KSA Kosher and Organic.