Snark Product List
Freshly Roasted Fair Trade, Organic Coffee|
I love roasting coffee. I love watching my beans move in my roaster. I love watching them change from green to tan, shedding their skin, morphing into the exact shade of brown that best compliments the bean and region. Itâ??s meditative. I smell the changes. I see the quality. I hear the roasting cracks. I think of all the people, their culture, and the work that went into getting the beans from the ground, to me. I carry that respect forward as I roast, cool, bag get the beans to you. I think of you drinking this cup in the morning, throughout the day, completing the circle: our community.
I think of how you are helping to give back to our local and global communities with every coffee purchase. Not only do you support fair-trade and organic farming, when you shop through OVFC you are supporting a growing local food enterprise.
The concept of Snark arose from a conversation on a Cameroon mountainside during a humanitarian aid trip. We were discussing how difficult fundraising for any charity or NGO has become. â??Wouldnâ??t it be great if there was a consumable product that people actually wanted, with a portion of the sales going back to their charity?â? The idea percolated for about a nanosecond. Toss in our mutual passions of roasting, coffee, people helping people, et voila! Snark was born.
When you order Snark from our website we send 10% of your coffee price to your chosen charity. You buy the coffee. You choose your charity. We get your coffee to you. Itâ??s that simple. There is no increased cost to you, just a lot of increased good.
10% may seem like a drop in the bucket. But put enough drops together and you have an ocean. Imagine that.
Thanks for being part.
Browse through our Products for Sale
Our coffees are as ethically sourced as we can get. They are either fair-trade, organic, shade-grown, rain-forest alliance, or a combination thereof. If no certification is on the label, it is because our importer is buying directly from the farmer, and the farmer can't afford to buy the certification, even if they are using the certification's practices (coffee's little dirty secret). In all cases, all of our farmers receive either fair-trade or higher than fair-trade prices.
Practices (our standards for raising or making our products)
All coffee is freshly roasted in 12lb amounts in a fluid bed roaster. One of the many things I enjoy about a fluid bed roaster is the evenness of the roast, the infinite control I have over roast temperature, and the cleanliness of the roast: all chaff is sucked up and away from the beans, it doesn't become incorporated into the roast. You can taste the difference.
Beverages: Fair Trade Coffee
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5 Pounds of Coffee
Order number of 5lb bags. Order any Snark coffee in 5lb bags and save $8. Specify the type of coffee you would like in the notes section.
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Order number of pounds. A blend of five beans from various regions create this smooth, intense coffee that is wonderful either brewed or as an espresso. Designed to be potent enough to cut through steamed milk, it is also smooth and intricate enough to sip black. Sweet smoke, caramel and cream flavours will linger in the mouth for 20 plus minutes, extending your pleasure.
This coffee was always my go-to for an espresso pull. Not only does it produce intense crema, it is also idiot proof when pulling a shot (always useful for early mornings). Any coffee, regardless of how beautifully roasted or ethically grown, will taste either bitter or sour if the shot is pulled long or short. This pull will have clearly defined striping. As soon as the striping disappears, just before the shot runs blonde, stop the pull. Presto - a perfect espresso with clearly defined layering. And if you look close enough, you can even see the heart of the pull.
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Order number of pounds. Expect clean, bittersweet roast notes with hints of chocolate and cinnamon.
This is a Swiss Water Processed blend from two regions, Columbia and Peru. Beans to be decaffeinated are selected based on their water content and their density, critical factors for both roasting and decaffeinating.
There are two ways to decaffeinate coffee, using either water or chemicals. Swiss Water is a patented process that naturally removes 99% of the caffeine from the beans. If you can, use this process for decaffeination, because what you take out is just as important as what you leave in.
Swiss Water Processed, Fairtrade, Organic, Medium Roast
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Order number of pounds. This coffee is somewhat complex, with a citric to tannic acidity. The honey fragrance mingles with top notes of peach and apricot to produce an aftertaste that is clean with a refined fruited sweetness.
This is the area considered to be the birthplace of coffee. Picture frisky goats frolicking around a bemused Shepard, scratching her head in contemplation while trying to chew a coffee cherry. Typically, it is the Robusta bean that grows wild, but in the forests of the Kaffa region of Ethiopia, Coffea Arabica grew wild. Coffee is "Bun" or "Buna" in Ethiopia, so Coffee Bean is quite possibly a poor anglicized interpretation of "Kaffa Bun". Coffea Arabica was also found in the Harar region quite early, either brought from the Kaffa forests or from closer areas around the Sudan border. It is entirely possible that slaves taken from the forests chewed coffee cherry and spit out the seeds, thus spreading it into the Harar region, through which the Arab slave trade route passed.
Rainforest Alliance, Organic, Light Roast
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Order number of pounds. Expect a full bodied, well balanced cup with hints of stone fruit and cacao nibs.
These shade-grown beans come from Finca Santa Cecilia, a 147 hectare farm on which coffee is grown on 142 hectares. Due to the extreme environmental conditions and lack of water, the farm maintains strict conservation practices. The farm has two water sources, only one of which is used for coffee processing and consumption. After processing, Finca Santa Cecilia uses a recycled water treatment process to avoid environmental pollution. Two families live on the privately owed farm and a total of 30 people work there.
The coffee is grown at 3400-4200 feet above sea level. The soil is rich metamorphic clay stemming from the nearby extinct Tecuamburro volcano. The beans are handpicked, wet milled and sun-dried.
Fairtrade, Shade-Grown, Medium Roast
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Order number of pounds. This coffee has a pleasant candied flavour, the sort of smokey-sweetness, like fresh caramelizing sugar in a pan, which lasts throughout the lingering aftertaste. The medium body and crisp acidity blend well with over-riding fruity caramel notes.
For a good part of the last 20 years, many Honduran coffee producers smuggled their coffee across the border to sell it in Guatemala. Guatemala had a better coffee reputation than Honduras and as a result, the crops could fetch a higher price. In that same time period, both the coffee producers and the Honduras Government made a quest to improve the quality of coffee from Honduras through fiscal incentives, the building of highways to access remote growing regions and improved soil analysis and crop management. As a result, in 2012, Honduras became the seventh largest producer of coffee in the world, surpassing Guatemala.
There is no doubt that coffee production and exports saved the state of Honduras from a certain bankruptcy following the 2009 political crisis. All things to think about as you sip your cup of inspiration.
Rainforest Alliance, Light Roast
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Order number of pounds. This is a smooth, smoky, full-bodied cup with a lingering finish of chocolate. The coffee is grown at 1400 meters above sea level in soil full of clay minerals. The coffee is fully washed and sun-dried.
These beans come from Tierra Madre, a program of women coffee producers from the Aldea Global cooperative in Jinotega, Nicaragua. Through their membership, Tierra Madre women receive an extra premium to help obtain legal title to their land. These titles are key to accessing micro-credit loans for production and other economic activities, which provide a better quality of life for the women and their families. In addition to loans for production, the Tierra Madre program provides credit training for women and support for improving family food security.
Legal title to land may seem like such a simple thing, but it has life changing impact. As one member states, "With their help I was able to legally register my house. Now I am sure that it is mine and won't be taken away from me. On my farm, I planted 5,000 coffee trees, all of the coffee is in production."
All in all, it's a pretty fine thing to be part of, especially when you don't even have to leave your house to do so. Enjoy.
Fairtrade Medium Roast
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Order number of pounds. A strong, pleasing coffee with chocolate and cocoa central to its flavour profile, think hot chocolate with cinnamon and a bit of malt powder. Works well as an espresso, but very complex as a brewed coffee too.
Peru is quickly building a global reputation for producing traditionally cultivated, shade grown, high quality Arabica beans. But that wasn't always the case.
There are more than 110,000 coffee growers in Peru, most of whom live on two or three hectares, hours away from the comforts of electricity and running water. Peruvian coffee farmers' landholdings are small, and the country's typical micro-wet-milling operation is even smaller.
After processing their coffee, most farmers hike their beans by foot or mule into the nearest town, a trip that can take anywhere from thirty minutes to eight hours. On Saturdays, the plaza of the closest town becomes a buying and selling station for the surrounding remote coffee growers. Farmers sell their coffee and buy goods for their homes before heading back up the mountainous foot trails. An unfortunate--but all too common--experience at these buying and selling plazas is the arrival of only one buyer, which can dramatically decrease the price paid to farmers for their coffee.
During the last decade, Peru's smaller cooperatives consolidated their movements to protect those exploited by traditional trading practices. An estimated 15-25% of Peru's smallholders now belong to co-ops linked with Fair Trade and Organic networks, which has led to Peru becoming the second largest supplier of Fair Trade certified coffee, and one of the world's top Organic producers. These cooperatives have built infrastructures for improving coffee quality, processing and exporting, training for farmers into certified organic production and social development projects.
The benefits extend beyond fair trade pricing for the farmers. The farmers are organized, developing a sense of identity through participation in their cooperatives. They have the ability to own and control their means of production. One farmer shares her reflections, "Before there were no trainings. But now they tell us about the roles of men and women. You learn to value yourself. You learn about participation."
Fair Trade Organic Medium Roast.
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Order number of samples. Want to taste the difference from different regions? Sample 3 coffees of a similar roast level, from 3 different regions.
Beans get their flavour based on the bean variety and region the beans are grown in.
In general, beans from Central America are well balanced with a good mixture of smooth sweetness and some tart, fruity acidity. They are often described as having a clean flavour. Some spice and cocoa notes may be present. Beans from South America are similar to the Centrals in that they are mild and light. There is a mellow acidity and strong caramel sweetness, with a hint of nutty undertone. Beans from Asia are deep and dark. There is a hint of meaty earthiness with an aromatic spiciness. African coffees can be quite complex offering distinctive wine and fruit tones with a fragrant floral aroma.
You will get a half pound each from 3 different regions.
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Order number of samples. Want to taste the difference of different roast levels?
Beans get their flavour based on the bean variety and region the beans are grown in. Roast levels for each variety and region are selected to bring out the best flavours of the beans.
In general, light roasts tend to be fruitier. Medium roasts are spicier, and their sweetness is closer to candies - chocolate and caramel. Dark roasts are more earthy, smokey, with caramlized sweetness like cacao.
You will get a half pound each of a Light, Medium and Dark Roast.
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Order number of pounds. This cup has excellent pungent tastes and attractive bittersweet/carbony flavors, overlayed with a degree of bittersweet. It is a blend designed to endure the rigors of dark roasting. Described as both "breakfast in a cup" and "a morning slap across the face" , it is a coffee with great body.
And body is so important, to a darker roast.
Extended roasts typically burn up all the sugars, incinerating the body, resulting in a thin cup of burned water. This is NOT what a dark roast coffee is about! You want something still voluminous, and something sharp that stings you a bit down the center of the tongue. Well, at least if you do want these things, then we share common ground, and you might like this blend.
Intense, rich, there is nothing subtle about this coffee. But let's face it; some mornings are just not made for subtle.
Excellent both brewed and as an espresso.
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Order number of pounds. Expect chocolate liqueur flavours that fade to cacao nib and licorice notes in the lingering finish. This blend of peaberries comes from the highlands of Mbeya and the cooperative efforts of several smallholder coffee farmers. Delicious both brewed and as a fine espresso option.
Peaberries result when the coffee fruit develops a single oval bean rather than the usual pair of flat-sided beans. A half-hearted, vestigial crevice meanders down one side of the little egg-shaped beans. Peaberries develop when only one of two ovaries in the flower are pollinated or accept pollination, thus producing one seed rather than two. Since Arabica coffee is self-pollinating (the same flower can impregnate itself) excessive peaberry production is a sign of general infertility of the plant.
The symbolic possibilities of the peaberry - singular versus double, round versus flat - has provoked a rich and occasionally risque mythology in growing countries. In these typically machismo coffee areas the peaberry is seen as male and often associated with virility. Personally, I find it odd the peaberry shape (one half of a valued male appendage) denotes virility. Where's the other one? Alternatively, focus on the crevice rather than the shape and the female form comes to mind. Just saying.