Our desire to provide our customers with delicious and sustainable products influences every aspect of our business process. We’re proud to start with beans that are all certified organic and carry a range of additional certifications certified biodynamic, shade grown and Fair Trade. But our dedication to sustainability doesn’t end once the beans get to us and we put them through our roasters. With sustainability as a core value of ours, we’ve taken another look at our packing and shipping methods and have realized we can do better.
At Cafe Altura, we believe in valuing every component of the process by which we get you exceptional products. This includes choosing to support systems which fairly compensate communities which are so integral to the farming of our beans. For us, that means proudly supporting Fair Trade products and proudly doing our part as a Certified Fair Trade roaster. If you’re a regular customer of ours you likely know the value in supporting Fair Trade products, but it’s worth looking at how the system got its start and the ways in which it benefits its members.
Every year since 2000, the Roasters Guild (now the Coffee Roasters Guild after the unification of the Specialty Coffee Associations of America and Europe) has held a weekend retreat for coffee roasting professionals. The Roasters Guild Retreat provides a truly singular opportunity for coffee roasters from around the United States and world to gather and learn from one another.
Local Organic farming of coffee and other agricultural products isn’t just a boutique industry riding the wave of current trends, it is the best answer to the environmental sustainability challenges facing our food production system. But while eating local produce, dairy, and meat can be fairly attainable for most Californians, the ability to drink locally sourced coffee hasn’t always been there.
At Cafe Altura part of our mission is to promote and support agricultural business practices that align with our core values. We were founded with the belief that people want and deserve a better connection to what they eat and drink, and that they want it produce in a way that respects our planet. When farms are working sustainably and providing value to communities, we look to incorporate them into our own supply chain or help to share them with others.
It should come as no surprise that oil dependence has worked its way into just about every facet of modern society. Its influence is pervasive in the production and transportation of items throughout our homes and lives, with food being no exception. Our built-in dependence of agriculture on oil runs deep–from fertilizers to machinery and transportation of those goods from where they’re grown to where they’re consumed.
Here at Café Altura, we value sustainability, and our background in biodynamics is a big part of that. Pioneered by Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century, biodynamics is a holistic form of agriculture which treats a farm as an interconnected entity. What follows is an interview with Christian in which he describes his background, the play, his thoughts on the enduring relevance of Steiner, and even a little about his coffee preferences.
As fall approaches, so too does the arrival of pumpkin-flavored everything. Whether it’s beer, chocolate, or food, tis the season for warm, comforting fall flavors. Here at Café Altura, we’re big fans of festive coffee concoctions, so we figured we’d share on of our favorite recipes with you; a simple but delicious pumpkin spice latte.
The coffee cultures of Europe, Italy in particular, and the artisanally crafted latte and cappuccino cups of the U.S. owe a debt to one key building block–the espresso. Forged by a process of forcing highly pressurized water through a tightly tamped down portafilter of finely ground particles, the espresso’s history in commercial and home consumption has been inextricably tied to the technological advancements that made it possible.
Cold brew is the ideal afternoon pick-me-up or ready-to-go option for busy mornings, and making it can be an easy and fun activity to do at home. Cold brew may actually be one of the simplest ways of producing coffee at home. All you need is a container to combine ground coffee and cool water in, a filter to separate them, and a second container for storage.