Coffee Roots - Your Favorite Tropical Fruit

Kathy Strauch Category: Learn

Coffee Roots - Your Favorite Tropical Fruit

If the piercing sound of an alarm isn’t enough to wake you up in the morning, the fragrance of tropical fruit brewing may be the incentive you need to get going.

Wait… tropical fruit… brewing?

No, this is not a new trend. Since the 15th-century people have been brewing the seeds of a fruit which has a similar appearance to a cherry. This fruit grows in tropical regions and comes from a plant called a coffea tree. You may have been referring to these seeds as “coffee beans.”

There are a variety of factors that determine the quality and taste of your daily brew. When you receive a bag of Coffee by Gillespie you will notice some important details on the label; varietal, processing, and altitude. Here is a quick guide of what you need to know about these seeds:

  • Varietal refers to the type or species of coffee plant. Just as in any produce, different plants will reach their peak season at various times during the year. The same is true with these seeds or “beans.”
  • Processing refers to the process in which the coffee seeds are extracted from the cherry-like fruit. These processes (wet hulling, dry, washed, or pulped natural) effect flavors and acidity of your coffee.
  • Altitude is all about location. Altitude determines the soil and climate variations that accompany these distinct berries and their taste.

The last step for coffee farmers is selling these seeds to be roasted. There are several programs and certifications in place to make sure the coffee you drink is coming from an ethical farm.

  • Organic coffee is naturally produced from start to finish. From the genesis of the coffee plant to processing and transportation of the seeds, this coffee is free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, synthetic additives, and industrial solvents.
  • Direct trade and Fair Trade certifications ensure that your coffee is mutually beneficial for both buyer and seller. “Direct trade refers to the relationship between roaster and grower, which is mutually respectful and beneficial without there being any official certification attached... Fairtrade is a nonprofit commercial trading partnership and certification program established to ensure that growers receive a fair price for their coffee.”1

Get to know your fruit! One of the best ways is to join a monthly subscription! Each month you will receive  new coffee, fearlessly roasted for you. You'll get to compare the varietal, processing, and altitude of our coffees each month. Enjoy your  daily brew and learn about your favorite origins at the same time!

* Learn about more programs and certifications at The Home Barista, Coffee Nerd,  and Bodega Coffee.


Kathy Strauch is a graphic designer, writer, bookworm, printmaker, and coffee lover from Michigan. She is also contributor with Christ Hold Fast, Higher Things, and The Gospel Economist.

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