ABOUT OUR COFFEE
TAI appreciates the many years of very generous support given by The Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company in its operation of the coffee booth at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers’ Market at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. You can buy our coffee from the booth we operate every Saturday from 8:00AM to 12:00PM or you can find it at Shopper’s Corner.
A Little History …
In 1997, as the “Coalition for Nicaragua”, we began selling whole bean coffee from the Island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua. With Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Island Association (BOSIA) we imported coffee from a cooperative farm on the volcano of Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua. This delicious coffee is grown in the shade of taller trees which are native to the area, and which provide shelter for the many local tropical birds and animals. No insecticides or artificial fertilizers are used on the coffee bushes, so when the ripe, bright red, coffee berries are harvested, they contain no harmful chemicals.
After a few years, we re-organized to form Three Americas, Inc. as a non-profit organization, still importing coffee from Nicaragua but expanding our mission to include community projects across North, South and Central America—hence the name “Three Americas”.
The workers of the Ometepe cooperative, represented by an elected board, bargain with the representatives of BOSIA for a fair price for their commodity, which is never lower than the Holland Index for fair trade. The income provides the cooperative with a fair living income. This means that the people of the cooperative have a clinic which provides health care, a school where their children are educated, housing, clothing and healthful food for the families, and they are now able to develop a hotel to attract eco-tourists. Similarly, the income which the Bainbridge Island organization gains from their sales is used to finance brigades of workers that go to Ometepe to teach, to build or to work in the harvest of coffee. At times young people and their parents from Bainbridge Island go to live for a short time with families on Ometepe Island to learn about that culture.
A similar story describes the cooperative in Pancasan, a coffee finca (farm) halfway up the volcanic Pancasan mountain in Matagalpa Departamento (state). This coffee comes by way of a Canadian non-profit organization, Café Ético.
When Three Americas receives the coffee beans from Nicaragua, they come in 150 pound sacks. The coffee is unroasted, or green, because it keeps longer in this state. It is roasted locally by the Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting company facility in Watsonville as the demand for it requires. The coffees from Ometepe and Pancasan are sold in 5 pound, as well as 12 ounce, bags. They are available directly from Three Americas, at the Cabrillo College Farmers Market or at Shoppers Corner (at the corner of Branciforte and Soquel Avenues in Santa Cruz).
At the Farmers Market we also brew our imported coffees fresh, to order, for the market clientele, along with some other organic, Fair-Traded coffees from our partner Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting. All proceeds from the coffee sales go to help fund the various projects of Three Americas.