Category Archives: conservation

Coffee Dreams Coming True

| September 17, 2011

It is a dream coming true that we are awaiting a shipment of coffee beans from Papua New Guinea, specifically the remote YUS Conservation Area of the Huon Peninsula (click here for map). Our partnership with the Woodland Park Zoo’s Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program supports conservation efforts that are good for the land, the environment, the people, the native species, and the coffee crop, too. Our green bean buyer Daniel, a regular contributor to this blog, has posted reports from the June 2011 trip and has recently shared his enthusiasm for the coffee we’re on track to bring you this fall.

Please see this recent blog post by the Woodland Park Zoo that outlines the deep importance of coffee to the villagers in the YUS Conservation Area. For more updates on this project and our conservation coffee — stay tuned right here on the Vita blog.

Above, Daniel discusses drying techniques with YUS Conservation Area landowners and farmers.
Cherry by cherry, the coffee is harvested.
Some planes must be pushed before they can be caught.
Photos by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo. 

Conservation Coffee

| August 17, 2011

photo courtesy of Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo



We have received an encouraging report from our partner in Morobe Province that the first load of YUS conservation coffee has been safely flown from the Sapmanga airstrip to Nadzab and is now being awaiting its sister shipment at a facility in Goroka. The remaining coffee is being stored at Yawan, but due to unfavorable weather it has yet to be picked up. Sapmanga and Yawan are the two villages in the Uruwa that posess airstrips – making them the vital hubs of transport for this coffee. As I witnessed first hand, the flights out of these grass, muddy airstrips can be highly irregular due to the weather and whims of the aviation company. Our hope is for the remaining coffee to be picked up from Yawan and delivered to Goroka, where it will be milled and bagged for a scheduled September shipment across the Pacific to Seattle.

For those of you not familiar with the project, Caffe Vita has joined the Woodland Park Zoo to work towards strengthening the longevity and success of the first ever conservation area to be established in Papua New Guinea, the YUS Conservation Area. Named after the three main rivers that flow through the area, the Yopno, Uruwa, and Som carve majestic valleys through this rugged terrain- one of the most biologically diverse in the world. The conservation area was only made possible by the cooperation of over 35 villages in the region and the landowners who have agreed to set aside their valuable resources for future generations. In addition, we are donating $1 to the Woodland Park Zoo for every bag of Zoo Special Reserve coffee beans we sell at our cafes or online.

The people of YUS are primarily subsistence farmers, cultivating an array of sweet potatoes, taro, cassava, greens, and fruits. In addition, a few cash crops such as tobacco, betel nut, and coffee are grown, but finding a potential buyer can be a challenge. YUS is remote, no roads lead to this region, so all goods heading towards the market must be flown (or walked). The cost and availability of airfrieght can make selling these crops close to impossible, yet currency is necessary for education and healthcare. For the improvement of these communities and the preservation of their land, we aim to provide a consistent market for their remarkable coffee.

Our goal is to establish the structure necessary for the transport of this coffee out of YUS and onwards to Seattle, where we hope the roasted coffee will find a following — the success of this project depends on it. For a sneak peak of the flavor profile you can expect when the coffee lands, we will be hosting a cupping of the coffees from each of the villages we visited. Details to be posted on this blog soon. In the meantime, you can enjoy this slideshow from our recent trip.

Introducing Eco-friendly Zoo Special Reserve coffee

| April 15, 2011

We are honored to partner with our good friends at the Woodland Park Zoo to release a special product that supports the Zoo and their conservation programs. Our newest coffee, Zoo Special Reserve, is organic and shade-grown using sustainable farming practices. The beans are from a farm in the Santa Rosa district of Guatemala and were certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The farmers who grow this coffee promote biodiversity by setting aside over forty percent of their land as a nature reserve, which protects the habitats of native tropical animals and birds such as gray foxes, armadillos, anteaters, parrots and butterflies.
Caffe Vita will donate $1 to the Woodland Park Zoo for every bag of Zoo Special Reserve sold in our cafes.

The Woodland Park Zoo is raising funds for their Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, which works with indigenous landowners in Papua New Guinea to improve community livelihoods while protecting biodiversity and the habitat of the endangered Matschie’s tree kangaroo.
The 12-ounce bags of whole beans are available now at our six Seattle locations.