Stewardship: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care
“Coava” is the oldest word in western culture for unroasted coffee. We took it as our name as a constant reminder that the entire chain of quality hinges on sourcing excellent green coffee. If the coffee producers do not take care of the beans, our roasters will not able to hide the damage. If our production team carelessly prepares, roasts, and packages the coffees, our baristas will not be able to hide the bean degradation. If our baristas do not store and use the beans in a timely manner all of the work done before them will fall apart as well. Everyone plays a role in the final cup.
This stewardship of coffee starts with protecting the bean through solid preservation practices.
At the farm level, quality preservation practices include soil conservation, companion planting, disease prevention, integrated pest management, and maximizing the bio-diversity of the plants and animals whose natural habitat surrounds the crops. It’s a lot more complicated than learning to only pick the ripest of cherries and taking them to a quality coffee mill. Truly extraordinary coffees come from the dedication, care, and oversight of the farmers who grew them.
In our roastery we aim to match our caliber of preservation practices to that of the best coffee producers. This includes temperature and moisture content management of all unroasted coffee; calculated roast cycles that prevent excess; well developed and thoughtful roast profiles; insulated and recyclable packaging; and biodegradable shipping materials. These elements increase the cost of our labor and materials, but significantly reduce waste, increase quality, and show respect for the hard work done before we receive the beans.
Stewardship in preparation is the last step in protecting quality coffee. Whether you are a professional barista or home brewer, with these four steps we all can show honor to the journey from seed to cup:
- storing beans in airtight containers at room temperature
- brewing coffees within 10-14 days of their roast date
- grinding immediately before use
- thoroughly cleaning all equipment after you use it
All of these measures do more than just protect the coffees we love. They also increase the sustainability of the coffee industry by ensuring that when newcomers gamble on more expensive cups of coffee they are rewarded with deliciousness.