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Origin Of Taste: Why Your Coffee Tastes So Great

Much like a fine wine, coffee develops varietal characteristics based on the region where it is grown. Here are a few factors that affect the flavor and taste profile of your favorite beverage.

Shade Grown Coffee

When we refer to shade grown coffee, we usually mean that the surrounding land has not been destroyed for coffee-bean cultivation. This means that when you buy shade grown you are not contributing to the negative environmental impacts of deforestation and slash-and-burn agriculture.

The shade also protects the beans from the sun, so they do not develop the harsher flavor profile commonly found in cheap, mass-produced coffees. Coffee plants that are grown in the sun are subject to more diseases and pests than those grown beneath foliage such as banana trees. As a result, sun-grown coffee must be sprayed with more chemicals, and that spraying can lead to chemical residues making their way into sensitive ecosystems.

Weather Patterns

If a region has a growing season where weather patterns are strange, it can affect the taste of the coffee produced that year or the overall yield from the bushes. Damian Carrington, writing for The Guardian, notes that the climate must be temperate and stable to yield a flavorful crop. As a result, the taste of your coffee hinges on the health of the environment, with global warming and climate change threatening bean production.

The Origins Of Camano Island Coffees

We at Camano Island Coffee Roasters pride ourselves on hand-selecting ethically farmed crops from an international cast of planters and growers. Some of the locales from which we source our beans include the following:


Honduras is quickly gaining a reputation for producing fantastic coffee. The high elevation of the coffee plantations makes for a cup that tastes faintly of molasses and caramel. Honduran coffee farmers often grow banana trees to shade their bushes, which maximizes flavor while supporting sustainable farming.


Brazil coffee beans have a nutty, caramelized flavor that sets this roast apart from the others. With a delicate profile and relatively low acidity, Brazilian coffee is a great choice for those who like a soft, yet bittersweet taste.


Like Honduran coffee, Peruvian crops are grown at high elevation. Coffee from Peru is great for those that favor a lighter-bodied roast. It makes for a great cup anytime of the day, and during any season; we all enjoy a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter morning, but why not try this blend over ice, as a refreshing summer beverage?

New Guinea

Our New Guinea coffee is grown from seeds brought from Blue Mountain, Jamaica, and planted in New Guinea in the 1930s. As a result, this rich brew, with its chocolatey undertones, is a great alternative to Blue Mountain beans, for the discerning gourmet who wants to sample something a little different.


Camano Island Coffee Roasters has a unique relationship with Guatemala and its coffee. We work with the Agros Foundation in Guatemala to help farmers purchase their land with low-interest or no-interest loans. With every cup you’re helping to create economic sustainability for these farmers and their families. This allows the farmers we partner with to have better control both over their means of production, and the quality of their product.


Sumatra is located in the Sunda Islands of Indonesia. They produce a unique coffee because they use a process called wet hulling to prepare the beans. The beans have the skins removed, but the pulp between the bean and skin is allowed to remain on the bean for 24 hours. Beans are washed and dried until they are at a moisture level of about 30%. Sumatran coffee is full-bodied and sweet on the nose, perfect for the true connoisseur.


Beans from Ethiopia are the stars of Camano Island Coffee Roasters African Reserve. This coffee will surprise you with its unique flavor profile, which calls to mind blueberry pancakes and maple syrup. This full to medium-bodied coffee is perfect for drinking with dessert, or for those that like highly flavorful coffees.

Supporting Coffee Villages

Camano Island Coffee Roasters is committed to only sourcing fairly traded and organic coffee. This means that the money you spend supports coffee growing communities all over the world. In fact, we give back to non-profit organizations in Guatemala with every coffee club purchase. Sign up today to sample our range of delicious gourmet coffees.

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Peruvian Coffee: In a World of Its Own for Week

Peruvian Coffee: In a World of Its Own for Week

There are two qualities that make Peruvian coffee stand out: the remote, high-altitude location where it grows and the collective work of the farmers who have turned the country into the world s foremost producer of organic coffee. Still, many people don’t think of Peru when they’re in the market for coffee. With a neighbor like Brazil, the world’s top coffee exporter, it’s easy to understand why it sometimes gets overshadowed. For those seeking outstanding coffee that is safe for growers and the environment, though, it will soon become a favorite.

The processing of coffee production in Peru starts with coffee cherries being handpicked off the plants. This is very labor intensive, but it makes it easier to spot ripe ones, and this is a very important step in getting high-quality beans. Through pulping, the outer layer is removed from the bean, and the bean goes through a short self-created fermentation period. The bean is then washed and allowed to dry, either naturally or via a machine until only 10-12% of its moisture remains. The beans have to be carefully stored after this to ensure that they retain their quality.

A Taste of Peru

Generally, Peruvian coffee has a light to medium body, which some drinkers compare to 2% milk because it isn’t heavy but also isn’t lacking taste. It’s also aromatic and incredibly flavorful. Because of its mildness, it’s perfect for blending but the sweet, nutty taste also means it can be savored on its own.

Coffee-Growing Regions in Peru

Peru grows its Arabica beans in the Northern, Central and Southern regions of the country, along the forested eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains. There are three main coffee-producing areas: Chanchamayo in the central highlands, which accounts for 28% of total production, Amazonas and San Martin of the northern highlands, which make up 49% of total production, and Puno, Cusco, and Ayacucho in the southern highlands, where 23% of production occurs, according to a report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Three-fourths of the coffee grown in the country takes place between 3,280 and 5,905 feet above sea level. Coffee is Peru’s top agricultural export.

The majority of the coffee growers in Peru are small farmers, and the average farm is only about 3 hectares (almost 7 and ½ acres). Many of these farmers participate in fair-trade cooperatives, and through these groups they have been able to create a sustainable agricultural market, negotiate competitive prices, improve the quality of their products, and get more access to the international market. By one estimate, 15-25% of the more than 100,000 small farmers have joined a cooperative. Some associations can have around 2,000 members and more than 7000 hectares (more than 17,000 acres) under its branch. In fact, Peruvian small-farmer cooperatives became the second largest supplier of certified fair-trade coffee after Mexico. Of Peru’s 21 largest coffee exporters, 4 of them are fair-trade associations. How’s that for teamwork?

A Peruvian Coffee Profile You Are Sure to Enjoy

Camano Island Coffee Roasters sells Peruvian coffee in dark and light roasts. Our dark roast is for the coffee drinker who likes just a hint of sweetness but wants a robust smoky or charred flavor in their Java. The light roast will have a bit of the original, natural flavor of the bean, which is a toasted, grainy taste. Because our beans are 100% shade-grown Arabica beans, they’re low in acidity and never cause heartburn or acid reflux.

A Coffee Company Developed With You in Mind

At Camano Island Coffee Roasters, we know that getting the coffee you want just the way you prefer it is important to you, so we provide a variety of shade-grown, organic flavors from Peru and beyond. Do not forget to try our commitment-free Coffee Lover’s Club, and stock up on your favorite flavors at the shipping frequency that is right for you, or give the subscription as a gift to the coffee aficionado in your life.