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Promoting bird friendly coffee – Golden Valley Farms

December 1, 2009

Liz at Golden Valley Farms recently contacted me about their coffee products and effort to increase awareness for their eco-friendly coffees. Since this kind of coffee along with Fair Trade are part of my coffee ethics, I decided the blog should be open to promoting people and programmes dedicated to making a change. What better place to start than with coffee.

Golden Valley Farms is based out of Pennsylvania and specialises in artisan coffee which come under Fair-Trade, Organic and Bird Friendly labels. Like any good coffee roaster the people at Golden Valley Farms are obsessed about coffee. My kind of people.

I knew something about fair trade and organic coffee but nothing about Bird-Friendly®, which is a programme established by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (a mouthful). The programme certifies growers who produce organic shade grown coffee, in tropical areas, and roasters who supply it.

With any eco friendly idea, shade grown coffee has its supporters and opponents. I’ve heard positive things about this coffee method  and I’ve also heard negative things about it. But, if done right and monitored under an institute like the Smithsonian, it has to good for the environment, for the coffee, and peoples well-being.

Liz offered to send me some samples — I quickly took up the offer.

I was sent a box of seven pouches (samples) that said bird friendly throughout. From the cute colourful thumbnails of migratory birds on the lid, to the black outlines of birds on the individual samples, each picture represented a bird habituating the region that I was about to make my coffee from.

Sourced from some of Latin America’s finest growing regions: Mexico, El Salvador, Peru and Colombia, coffee under the Bird Friendly label are the only ones on the market claimed to be both 100% shade grown and organic. According to the Smithsonian Centre that is. I’m inclined to believe them since they are not in the coffee business for the joy of selling a product.

I recommend reading their site for in more information on the programme Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and check out Golden Valley Farms as well.

As for the coffee?  What I’ve had so far:100% Colombia Reserve Bourbon, 100% El Salvador and 100% Colombian Organic, were well bodied and smooth, and most importantly there was  no bitter aftertaste.

If you’re around the Pennsylvania area, Golden Valley Farms offer special tours of its roasting facility and there is a shop for purchases. There is also an online store for people like me which I’ll be making good use of when I return to the US next year.

Thanks to Liz @ Golden Valley for getting in touch and telling me about this wonderful programme; and introducing me to their products.

Caffeinated Traveller

(Note: This is not a sponsored post)

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3 Comments
  1. Bear permalink
    December 2, 2009 2:28 pm

    I have to applaude the efforts of independent farmers as well as companies to farm in a manner that is intelligent and benificial. And for the Smithsonian to be in on it I think is also exceptional. Thanks for bringing this into the light.

    • December 2, 2009 3:49 pm

      I was also delighted to discover a coffee and bird project undertaken by the Smithsonian – rock on!

  2. December 6, 2009 5:25 pm

    What a cool program. That’s so admirable for the Smithsonian to be in on it too. Thanks for sharing.

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