We are exceptionally proud to announce a new specialty coffee roastery joining CBD: Kogi Coffee. Not only is it exquisitely delicious coffee, the story behind the coffee is one of the most amazing stories that you may have ever heard! Kogi Coffee has roots in environmentalism and social activism, producing “wild coffee” that gives back to the community which grows it.
Kogi Coffee grows wild in the misty Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains in Colombia. The area was recently named the most irreplaceable nature reserve in the world. It was awarded this title as the area contains the rarest and highest amount threatened species of exotic flora and fauna. The beautiful region became savaged by illicit drug crops, then even more so by the herbicide administered to the area by the government. Now the area is being colonised by holiday homes of wealthy westerners, looking to have a piece of this idyllic and stunning area.
The Kogi are descendants of the Tairona culture, who flourished in the region until the Spanish conquest. This ancient civilisation built stone structures and pathways in the jungle, and made symbolic gold objects to hand from trees and around their necks. Long before the Spanish conquistadors arrived, the Tairona moved into the highlands, a move which actually turned out to their benefit as they were able to remain largely in isolation from the soldiers and threat of invasion. Throughout the invasion, priests were hanged, women stolen and abused, and children were forced into Spanish education and away from their traditional ways. The Kogi people have remained in the mountains, to avoid the worst effects of continued colonisation.
The preservation of their traditional way of life centres around their connection with the earth, and belief of “The Great Mother” named “Aluna”, a creator figure who is the force behind nature. They have been outspoken in recent years about the responsibilities that come with people children of the earth, condemning the exploitation and plundering of natural resources, saying it will lead to our eventual destruction.
Kogi Coffee is connecting and supporting the views of the Kogi people by growing “wild coffee.” Although some traditional slash and burn techniques are used to maintain the jungles, wild coffee is grown freely beneath the natural forest canopy, under the spiritual guidance of the the community elders, known as Mamos. Kogi coffee remains aligned with the principles of the people, by acknowledging four cornerstones to the business.
- Spiritual communication with Mother Earth and the ancestral fathers through ceremonial work
- The conservation of their natural resources
- The exclusive use of seeds found in the Sierra Nevada and the refusal to introduce new varietals
- The self management of production by the Kogi themselves
Proceeds from the sale of Kogi coffee go back into preserving sacred lands, and buying back ancestral sites.
We are stoked to be working with a coffee company that is respecting the earth and continuing traditions of its native land. We hope you enjoy the taste and quality, so let us know in the comments what you think!