we took a field trip to logan, utah, to visit caffe ibis. i was seriously impressed by their commitment to sustainability, fair trade, and making a positive difference on the environment. seriously. took a tour around the roasting facilities and then had a mini cupping. the cupping was interesting, kinda obviously done for our benefit, which is to say, toned down quite a bit…by toned down, i mean, he (randy, the guy that runs ibis) said that when they’re doing a real cupping, they’ll do it with 5 different beans from the same country to figure out which is best, or try to decide which roast is best by roasting 5 different ways. the first cup we tasted, he said “the unique feature of this coffee is the blueberry.” i took a sip, just coffee. i took another and let it sit in my mouth a second and, holy crap! blueberry! i wanted more of that when we were doing the cupping, unique features to look for that my palette is too dull and untrained enough to notice without help, but he really just described brightness and body and didn’t talk on the specific coffees we were tasting.
the really impressive thing about ibis was learning about their triple certification. they are certified organic, and fair trade certified, but also smithsonian certified. smithsonian? isn’t that like a museum or something? it’s a lot of things, it’s a research institute and being smithsonian certified means that the coffee plantations support migratory birds and native wildlife by now plowing down the rainforests and leaving the trees and natural vegetation intact. which is pretty much awesome from an environmental standpoint, but it also fosters higher quality beans and more sustainable agrigulture since they don’t have to pollute the soil with fertilizer which ultimately ends in the land no longer being able to sustain vegetation. you can learn more about natural shade grown coffee and smithsonian certification, it’s interesting.