San Diego's Finest Organic Coffee & Tea

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Sustainability

Wondering where all of your spent coffee grounds go?…

photo 1photo 2We met up with Beth, Joan, & Phillip at our partner farm, the Peace Garden, to get an official tour of where all of our used coffee grounds go!  The Peace Garden is located in between the 15 & the 805 freeways in an urban, repurposed area.  This group partners with a local church, Adams Avenue bike shop, and nearby schools to create this beautiful community space.photo 3photo 2One of our Bean Brain fans, Joan, approached Steve & Laurie about using our spent grounds for the community garden compost about a year ago.  She said that she previously was picking up from local coffee shop, Twiggs, but that she wished to collect organic grounds only so she made the switch to Virtuoso.  And we sure are happy she did!  We divert about 30 gallons of used coffee ground waste from our landfill and this beautiful garden is able to use them to make tasty, nutritious soil.photo 1Virtuoso Staffers, Vanessa & Amanda, visited the farm as they are our staff experts on the subject of farming and all things sustainable.  These girls had a blast learning about the garden’s permiculture, no till garden boxes, composting technique, heirloom varieties of crops, and tons more.photo 7photo 5photo 6Vanessa sits underneath a shady fortress that Philip built out of used bicycle rims, provided by Adams Ave Bike Shop.  Here, cucuzzas grow up these recycled trellises and provide a shady space for groups of kids to learn in the garden on a hot day. photo 4photo 3photo 8Beth tells us about her vision for the long term plans for the garden – a bigger worm composting faciliity, adding chickens to the mix, and an outdoor kitchen for community members to share garden grown meals.  She also invites bean brains and the rest of the community to join her on the first Friday of every month for a potluck with garden volunteers.photo 9photo 10Our coffee grounds go into this hot heap! THe grounds are mixed in with other organic materials to make a potion of nitrogen & carbon, steamed at a high of 120 degrees to create a nutrient rich soil additive.  All natural!photo 11Thanks Peace Garden!

Visit them at 3850 Westgate Place, San Diego, CA  92105 or at their website here.

 

 

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October is Fair Trade Month and we would like to celebrate by honoring our farmers from which we buy fair trade coffee!  Please look to the coffees with the Fair Trade symbol on our bags and support fair trade all month, and all year round!

Fair Trade  66 65 Coffee farmer

Fair Trade means buying commodities at a slightly higher rate per unit in order to provide a livable wage to producers.  In our case, this means paying more per pound of coffee beans to our fabulous farmers who work so hard to grow organically, harvested-with-love coffee beans.Fair Trade Map 2012

Your dollars are going to these countries…Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil, Ethiopia, & Indonesia.  The extra money goes to creating schools, building hospitals, sponsoring new sustainable farming tools and techniques, etc.  Virtuoso purchased 75% of its beans this year through Fair Trade channels and hopes to continue the sustainability trend!

 

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Fair Trade Map 2012

Here at Virtuoso we take sustainability seriously – sustainability for the water, soil, wildlife, and people.  Which is why we don’t just stop at our mission of 100% Organic coffee beans; we source most of our coffee through fairly traded routes.  75% of our coffees we purchase come from certified fair trade farmers, which means that on top of the $2.00/lb extra we pay for our organic beans and organic practices, we pay even more on top of that to ensure our farmers are getting paid what they deserve.

Sustainability

 

Fair Trade Certified means that all the people in the supply chain for that product abide by strict regulations in regards to transparency and social justice.  Farmers need to earn a minimum livable wage for each pound of coffee they produce and export.  That means less middlemen and less money lost along the way back from developed country consumers to developing nations suppliers.

 

Coffee farmer

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