Café Tambo Quinde: a Cloudforest Coffee Farm
Café Tambo Quinde: a Cloudforest Coffee Farm
Join us in creating an ideal coffee farm on the Equator in one of the world´s most bio-diverse regions.
Join us in creating an ideal coffee farm on the Equator in one of the world´s most bio-diverse regions. Read more
About this project
Five years ago, Tiny Footprint Coffee, along with coffee guru Brian Krohnke and ornithologist Juan Manuel Carrión, set out on a journey to find the answer to the question: how can you grow perfectly delicious coffee that is socially and environmentally beneficial? In a subtropical valley called Tandayapa, nestled deep in the Ecuadorian cloudforest, we found our answer. Now, after several years of careful planning and restoration of an abandoned plot of land, we are ready to take the next step, and we need your help.
We created this Kickstarter to help fund the build-out of a sustainable coffee farm within a beautiful nature reserve in the Ecuadorian cloud forest. This biodiverse place, Tambo Quinde, will get its economic sustenance from the coffee we grow and the ecotourists who visit to learn about sustainable coffee. Let´s be clear: the land is 10% farm and 90% cloud forest ecological reserve. There is a lot here to see, hear, smell, touch and taste.
In a few hours visit, people will do a symbolic picking if they come during harvest season (July-October), follow an educational trail through the coffee plantation with bilingual signage, ending at the “beneficio” or depulping, fermenting and washing station where they can see all stages of the coffee post-harvest process. Then they will enjoy a visit to the Tambo Quinde coffee bar to try our coffee and eat a tasty snack.
Tambo Quinde is also a member of a small-scale, local growers association. Brian has been vice-president and is now a spokesman for the group of 30 coffee farms who are working together to improve quality and raise production. This community group, "La Asociación Agro-artesanal de Productores y Comercializadores de Café del Noroccidente de Pichincha" brings together men and women from all social classes and backgrounds, working together with respect and mutual understanding. Association members also help each other at harvest time like in the picture below: Inés Andagoya picking coffee at Tambo Quinde.
So, this Kickstarter directly supports and builds upon our existing efforts and the shared efforts of the fellow coffee growers in our association. In complementing our coffee infrastructure and coffee tourism facilities -- which will also be used as teaching and practice space for our association -- this Kickstarter will enable our ecotourism programming, leading to more people visiting the area and stimulating the local economy. The "industry without smokestacks", eco-tourism, is an equitable way to create opportunities within communities.
We are working with different Arabica varietals that promise good cup quality like those you can taste in the coffees we offer in some of our rewards – like the one below. The fresh 2015 harvest is due to arrive in the USA while our Kickstarter campaign is live and Tiny Footprint Coffee in Minneapolis will craft roast our beans to their best and fullest expression.
Brian is also a founding member of the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation, which works to conserve forest in the area. Each of our backers will receive a complimentary one year Supporting Membership of this group as a means to learn more about this fascinating bio-region and contribute to its sustainability.
What can you do?
By donating to our Kickstarter or spreading the word about our campaign through social media or word of mouth, you contribute to an important pilot project and ecotourism model in the coffee industry. The coffee from Tambo Quinde will be top-of-the-line and seeks to be a closed-loop system by growing the coffee locally, employing local labor and protecting local biodiversity in the Ecuadorian cloud forest. This project also will strengthen ties and understanding between coffee farmers in Ecuador and coffee drinkers in the USA. We have support tiers from $10 to $5,000, and offer great rewards for our backers at every level.
Where is the money going?
The money will fund the construction of a micro wet mill and solar drying beds in order to guarantee full control over every stage of coffee production, optimizing quality and raising production. Your support will also help build the rustic eco-agro-tourism facilities at Tambo Quinde, so visitors can learn about sustainable coffee production, including a coffee bar so they can taste our crop. These facilities will also be used as teaching tools for other coffee growers, beginning with the members of the local farmers association we belong to. Then, if this Kickstarter goes beyond the initial funding goal, our next priority is adding up to 7 more acres of shade coffee plantation on land that is currently denuded cattle pasture. Like all our shade coffee, this will provide habitat for countless birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and insects that call this area home.
What’s in it for you?
We’re offering awesome prizes for your contributions! At different buy-in levels we have bags of coffee, t-shirts, CO2 offset certificates, roastery tours, coffee tastings, barista classes, trips to Ecuador to visit Tambo Quinde, and much more. Please see the rewards menu on the right, as some have limited quantities and/or delivery is restricted to the USA. The quantity limits come from the very reality of our small production capacity (this year eight 110 pound coffee sacks are going to the USA) and get to the very heart of why we are doing this Kickstarter: Your support will help us raise production and quality, making a dream come true!
Risks and challenges
We divide our project risks in four categories:
1.- Climatic, like potential plantation damage from heavy rains during El Niño events; increased crop pathogens like coffee leaf rust and future insect damage from the coffee borer beetle, not present yet at our altitude, but both could climb up the mountain with warming conditions.
-- Our mitigation strategy for these risks include growing Arabica varietals with proven resistance to leaf rust and the gradual implementation of best practices to assure the absence of fallen coffee cherries that become the food and breeding resource for borer beetles. Brian heads Mindo Cloudforest Foundation´s climate change mitigation reforestation project and has extensive experience in subtropical forest restoration and agro-forestry.
2.- Market. Coffee like all commodities is subject to market forces and sometimes violent price swings.
-- By producing top quality, specialty (85 points and above on the SCAA cupping scale), coffee we expect to earn permanent price premiums, guaranteeing the sustainability of our project.
3.- Political. Ecuador is a rapidly modernizing country with an at times polemical "Citizens´ Revolution" underway. Mostly this has been great for coffee farmers as there has been renewed attention (and technical support especially) from the government. However, a scenario where international tourism is scared away from Ecuador is not hard to imagine.
-- Our mitigation strategy for this risk is built into the very framework of our project. The coffee production must be high quality and sustainable on its own, and projected income from tourists simply an additional income stream, not an absolute necessity.
4.- Volcanic, given that Ecuador has many active volcanoes and several in eruptive processes as we speak, we can never write off the possibility of large ash falls that could damage our plants. At the same time, the much higher probability light ash falls, help fertilize our soil and explain their long term fertility and loamy structure that coffee likes so much.
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