When we first had the idea to create Purity Coffee®, one of the problems we needed to solve was determining which coffees to source based on positive impacts to health. I knew that at the very least, our coffee had to be organic, free of mold & toxins, and defect-free specialty grade. Upon locating coffees that met this baseline standard, we then began to lab test these coffees to determine which contained the most antioxidant compounds. Those which were the very highest in antioxidants would be the coffees we’d select for Purity Coffee®.
After going through this process over the years and testing multiple different coffees from around the world, we began to see a trend...
Coffees that contained the highest levels of antioxidants and nutritious compounds always grew in diverse, cultivated organic ecosystems.
These coffees grow on lush, heavily forested coffee farms rife with indigenous plants, trees, and lots of shade. Native wildlife and insects are also plentiful amongst these farms and contribute to their flourishing ecosystems.
After having spent the past few years perfecting our sourcing, roasting, and overall production processes, the one area we’d still been intensely interested in pursuing further as a company has been the farming component. We’d made tremendous strides in the pursuit of producing the healthiest coffee possible based on the best coffee available to us, but what if we had control and could impact how our coffee was grown?
Managing the First Mile
Although our farmers maintain practices and superior standards which rate them at a top level within the coffee industry, what if those standards could be improved even further? This is a difficult question to answer because it requires significant time and investment for farmers to manage projects alongside their current operations, or to allocate productive lands for experiments that may not yield results for a couple of years. Our producers have their own businesses to run, and they are interested in proven advancements, but not necessarily complicating their already efficient farms with field trials.
We then concluded that the only way forward was to make a direct investment in this research on our own farm "laboratory". This would allow us to experiment at the soil level, testing different organic inputs, working with various cultivars, keeping copious records, and learning what makes a difference through our own trial and error.
By owning this first mile in the production process, we could potentially influence the levels of healthy compounds and chlorogenic acids which are contained in our coffees. The prospect of being able to innovate at the farm level became an obsession for me, so I began the search for a farm where we could begin this project of ours. After several months of touring various farms around the world, I located one with the potential for us to achieve our goals for further innovation.
Purity Coffee Farms Montebonito, Colombia: Where We Will Make Every Decision Based on Health
It is on this farm we will be able to make 100% of the decisions that are in the best interest of health, without compromise. Most coffee grown worldwide is produced based on practices that prioritize taste, profit, or both. We know that coffee grown the right way tastes fantastic, but we want to go beyond the standards of today and pursue what is possible when it comes to how we may be able to maximize the healthful properties of our coffees.
By creating a catalog of best practices for health - from soil constituents to growing conditions, to harvesting and processing - we will be able to establish a set of criteria that will allow us to improve upon the standards we’ve already set for our coffee. We will be testing results with different cultivars, experimenting with various microorganisms and organic supplements within the soil, and seeing which types of shade trees and indigenous flora have the most profound positive impacts on how our coffee is grown. We’ll also be studying the effects that various insects and wildlife can have on and around the farm.
Developing Sustainable, Ideal Practices that are Replicable
Through extensive research, testing, and hard work…our intention is to develop a new standard for healthy coffee best practices at the farm level. Once we’ve established this new set of criteria along with a playbook for how to replicate this model, we can then start to place a similar investment into our partner growers and then incentivize these farmers to reach the same set of standards on all of the farms we source from.
The criteria we are working to develop will have positive effects on our relationships with our farmers (including those who we are collaborating with as well as our current producers), the environment, and most importantly… our customers’ health and well-being. Our farmers will benefit from the higher income they will receive by way of producing a more premium coffee directed by food safety and ultimately the positive compounds linked to good health. The regenerative farming practices we employ will promote sustainability and therefore help to reduce our carbon footprint. And Purity Coffee® drinkers will be able to enjoy an even healthier cup of coffee beyond what we’re capable of producing today.
Join Us on Our Journey
This next chapter for us is just beginning. These next few years will be filled with research, testing, implementation, and us overcoming inevitable challenges. We invite you to be a part of this journey and we look forward to sharing our progress as we document and share our learnings in the months and months ahead.
Our farm will be a “work in progress” and the coffee we grow will not be used in any of our Purity Coffees until we can verify that it’s reached the standards which we’ve set for ourselves and for our customers. In the meantime, we look forward to sharing glimpses of what we’re working on, what we’re learning, and providing you with an up close look at what it’s like on a coffee farm. Finally through this experimentation we hope to discover the differences that make the difference. What ultimately matters in creating a coffee with the only North Star being how to maximize the health benefits in your cup.
Montebonito in Pictures:
One of our primary goals is to plant diverse, indigenous shade trees that are conducive to coffee production.
Animals are a critical part of regenerative farming.
Allowing insects to pollenate the coffee plants is crucial.
Our initial goal with the farm is to be fully organic certified in 2023.
This year’s harvest is just beginning, however, we will not be using any of the coffee this year, because it is not yet USDA Certified Organic. We believe in the organic system and want to uphold its principles.
We hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into what we've started! Stay tuned for additional updates as we continue to chronicle this journey in the months ahead.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and welcome any insights as we learn and share more.
- Andrew and Amber