2015 Specialty Coffee Advent Calendar
Araku – Solberg & Hansen
Origin: Doravalasa, Araku Valley
Producer: Sagara Mosiya
Elevation: 950 masl
Roast Date: 17 Nov
Roaster: Solberg & Hansen
Taste Profile: sweet aroma of caramel and honey. A round and well balanced coffee that tastes of chocolate, red fruits and vanilla.
Araku is a tasteful Christmas coffee that offers a different and important perspective on coffee production, about the tribe people in beautiful Araku Valley in India – which, thanks to hard work, good helpers and organic coffee cultivation have regained their livlihood.
Deep in the Indian mountain range Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh region we find the picturesque Araku Valley. Here, nature is lush and untamed, waterfalls are lively and hillsides rich and green. This is home to nearly twenty tribesmen with roots to India’s indigenous, Adivasi. The naturally grown fields in Araku Valley look like patchwork quilts of bright earth tones and green hues, and they blend with the pristine nature that surrounds them. Today, coffee farms and other agriculture provide a safe livelihood for many of the tribal people in Araku Valley. It has not always been this way.
It is not many years ago the inhabitants of this valley shared destiny with tens of millions Adivasi in India. A fate that can be traced back to the colonization of the country in the 18th century. Raw brutally was common place, with basic provisions ripped away from them as a result of the overexploitation of the same forest and soil which they themselves had lived in harmony with the numerous generations. Without formal property rights on its own soil, many were driven to the slums in the cities. Those who remained ended up in a kind of vacuum. Deprived of their natural livelihood, and without the opportunities so often promised of modern society.
The year 2002 marks an important turning point in the history of Araku Valley, and in the center of the turnaround was one of nature’s most tasteful resources. Under the umbrella of Nandi Foundation, the largest charitable organization in India, was a thousand acres of land divided between Adivasi in Andhra Pradesh. The aim was to give tribal communities livelihoods back by facilitating a sustainable, ecological production of coffee. With Naandis aid, Adivasi in Araku Valley also put in place programs that cover very basic needs. In the region of Andra Pradesh, it is partly built four hundred new schools. This means that education is no longer reserved for the sons in the family.
The Araku Valley and surrounding areas are still being built up but many farmers can still harvest the fruits of the hard work they have put in. More than sixty thousand Adivasi are working in organic coffee production and have increased their income tenfold. The coffee they grow has become a sought-after commodity, and are now united under the brand name Araku Originals. This has laid the foundation for further development, and new projects are initiated. In 2010 work began to rebuild and expand the forest’s revenues to farmers. Until now, three million new trees have been planted, and fruit has become part of the portfolio for many of the farmers.
With more than forty million Adivasi who are still living below the poverty line, Araku Valley presents itself as a project to follow and inspire. The people here have not only gained back their livelihood, but created a platform for development and power to direct their own future. People that have fought for freedom for almost two hundred years experience sudden independence, higher living standards and better quality of life.
Coffee beans on the inside of this bag is a result of all this. Cultivated by the three farmers Cheruvapakula, Kadaba Boddaput and Musuri Gondiguda and processed in the washing station in Araku Valley. The hard work that lies behind is reflected in the high qulaity coffee. But in this case it is not the quality of the coffee beans that are the most important part of the story.
Solberg & Hansen
We (Solberg & Hansen) are the largest and oldest specialty coffee roaster in Norway, yet keep their focus on the future. It has made us a pioneer in the coffee industry, both in Norway and internationally. We started travelling the world early in search of the planet’s finest coffee districts. We see this as one of our most important tasks. Because of this, we can share knowledge and create long-term relationships with dedicated and skilled coffee farmers, farms and cooperatives.
This has contributed to a focus on sustainability and fair trade has been fundamental values in our part of the industry. Meanwhile, it is our main quality assurance. Through traveling and close cooperation can we follow the raw material all the way back to the coffee flower’s first shot. It is thanks to this traceability that we obtain green beans and tea leaves that holds exceptionally high quality.
Our job begins ie not at the distillery, but nonetheless are burning our most specialized subjects. We burn beans with knowledge acquired through generations. Products and tastes we discover is the driving force, and curiosity for the subject carries us forward. Testing becomes advances, and humility are granted. Although our journey does not have a particular destination, we have one clear ambition:
Being an opener for the world’s best cup.