Monday, December 3, 2012

Thoughtful Consumerism: A Holiday Story

It’s simple, really. Six signatures on a piece of paper. Six signatures of the producers whose beans are included in our holiday roasts.

Alfredo Ponce. Sara Juarez. Raul Perdomo. Antonio Ponce. Jake Compaan. Eduin and Nely Valdez.

But these signatures change things. When each of these producers signed the contract to sell their coffee through UMF, they weren’t just writing down their names. They were rewriting the story of coffee. Coffee is often seen merely as a commodity, purchased for cheap and processed carelessly, roasted and flavored and resold again and again until the final product is as distant as possible (physically and philosophically) from the farmers who grew it. But these are not nameless, faraway farmers. And we are not thoughtless consumers.

We want to tell a story of thoughtful consumerism, a story of direct links to the people who produced the coffee in your cup or the food on your plate. The benefits of this type of direct consumerism range from tangibles like fair wages for producers to intangibles like a sense of global community and responsibility.

So in releasing our two holiday roasts for the season, we proudly display the signatures of the coffee producers who contributed to them. We highlight their signatures in an effort to highlight them, the individuals who carefully cultivated these beans over the last year. This is the story of coffee we want to tell.

The holidays are upon us. This means purchasing gifts for family and friends, brewing a hot pot of coffee on a cold morning, and hosting dinners or gatherings that end with cups of coffee around the table. We encourage you to use these opportunities to join us in telling this story of coffee - the story of thoughtful consumerism and, ultimately, the story of people.

Join us in telling this story. Buy a bag to brew or give as a gift. Get to know our farmers. Read about what makes this coffee so great. 

Our holiday blends:

Beneficio Blend

This blend features the coffees of Alfredo Ponce, Sara Juarez, and Antonio Ponce. Their coffees were processed at UMF’s beneficio, or coffee processing facility. It was our first year running the beneficio, so all three producers displayed trust in choosing us to process their coffee. All three producers are amazing members of their community. Alfredo Ponce lives and works in La Unión, at a facility across from our office. Sara, also from La Unión, is the matriarch of a family of coffee farmers. Her son is Fito Juarez, another producer we have purchased coffee from (read about him here). Antonio Ponce, or Toñito, is a leader in his community of San Carlos. His story was featured in a series of articles in Fresh Cup magazine and we’ve collaborated with him, his community, and the amazing organization METAD on a clean water project in San Carlos. Their coffees combined beautifully into a smooth, sweet cup with notes of berries and brown sugar.

Honey Processed Blend

This coffee comes from two fincas, or coffee farms. The first is that of Alfredo Ponce, the producer who also contributed to our Beneficio Blend. The second finca belongs to Raul Perdomo, Jake Compaan, and Eduin and Nely Valdez. All are teachers or administrators at the Vida Abundante Christian School in La Unión. These producers used a special technique to process their coffee called pulped natural processing. Coffee beans are usually washed after they’re removed from their fruit, but pulped natural beans forgo this washing and are dried with the sweet fruit pulp left on. This leads to a very fruity, bright flavor with strong notes of raspberries and champagne.

Interested in buying a bag? Contact us or purchase online here

by Morgan Fett


  1. It's beautiful to see these signatures in use!

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