Photo: International Coffee Day Sept. 29
The Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA’s) said the best coffee in the world comes from Aguadas, Colombia.
The coffee beans that were just awarded the prestigious “Rainforest Alliance” seal in Houston, Texas, grow in a Colombian town by the name of Aguadas, buried in the Andean northern coffee zone in Colombia.
To get to Aguadas, one must drive for four hours through the only curvy and unpaved road that connects four municipalities. At the point where the road becomes impossible to drive through, old jeeps are used by locals as taxis, and any of them will take you to Aguadas, or rather to the point from which travelers have to hike to take the “chiva” to Aguadas.
Located in Aguadas, is a 10 acre farm called “El Diamante,” property of Eduardo Alonso Arias, one of the locals who has been presented with the award granted by the international seal.
To talk about the international Rainforest Alliance seal, is to talk about special coffee. “a special coffee bean,” said Fernando Carrera, a member of the Aguadas Coffee Growers Committee to El Tiempo newspaper, “is a bean that has particular characteristics; the international seals observe, for instance the way the coffee is grown, that the process is beneficial for the environment, that coffee growers protect birds and do not use chemical fertilizers.”
The Rainforest Alliance seal, demands that the final product is obtained through social, economic and environmentally sustainable practices.
One of the main requisites for the Rainforest Alliance recognition is that coffee growers must grow their product next to other trees, to guarantee and protect biodiversity. Coffee in Aguadas grows under the shade of larger trees which turn pest control into a 95% natural process, and foster over 130 species of birds.
Benefits from the award include better coffee prizes, international recognition and prestige, and technical support that the seal provides to its growers.
It is the first time that Colombia wins this award, despite having participated since 2006. The coffee from Aguadas obtained a score of 89/100, Ethiopian coffee came in at second with 86,79/100.