The Scoop: About 15 years ago, many coffee producers worldwide weren’t being paid a living wage and couldn’t even afford to own their farms. That’s why Pachamama Coffee set out to make the industry more ethical for farmers. Pachamama provided those small farmers with the capital they needed to purchase their farms and run independent businesses. Today, the 100% farmer-owned company produces tasty and sustainable coffee that can help couples celebrate their relationships without sacrificing their values.
Coffee is often a special part of daily life for couples. From brewing a pot every morning to sipping leisurely mugs on the weekend, coffee is a shared delight in many relationships.
Modern couples are often more selective about the coffee they drink. Some won’t drink instant versions and prefer to grind beans every morning. Others will only grind organic beans or brew their coffee in state-of-the-art devices that enhance its flavor.
But that sophisticated coffee culture hasn’t necessarily contributed to improved conditions for coffee bean farmers in many parts of the world. According to a data visualization produced by Carto, 44% of coffee farmers were living in poverty, with another 22% in extreme poverty.
That’s why Pachamama Coffee, a coffee farmer co-op, bean distributor, and café, sought to remedy that issue 15 years ago. It developed a cooperative model in which five coffee cooperatives worldwide would each own 20% of the company. Pachamama farmers can live on their farms, as well, something few others allow.
“This was a revolutionary idea. Most coffee farmers are never the owners of the company,” said Rosa Angélica Sarabia, Pachamama Creative Director.
Pachamama is named after the “earth goddess — or Mother Earth — to the Aymara and Quechua people of the Andes in South America,” reads an excerpt on its website. The company helps its farmers through educational resources on sustainable farming, something they may not be familiar with.
“Low coffee yields are generally solvable through simple and organic means, such as pruning and stumping of trees — however, these methods require targeted and systematic training programs,” Carto reported in its global coffee industry analysis. Pachamama education can help those farmers with strategies to grow higher quality beans more sustainably.
Coffee farmers typically don’t have the capital to gain access to the free market. That’s why many don’t own their farms, which leaves them susceptible to shifting prices on the commodity market.
Pachamama provides accessibility and stability for its farmers and sustainable cups of coffee for couples everywhere.
Couples Can Order Brews Right to Their Door
Pachamama’s cooperative model benefits farmers, and their financial freedom allows them to invest in their communities. The model also encourages them to produce tasty, organic coffees that consumers appreciate.
Couples who want to celebrate their relationships with coffee can order bags of Pachamama coffee delivered to their homes.
The company’s most popular offering is its Peru variety, which comes from the valley of Santa Teresa near Machu Picchu.
“That’s our founding coffee. It’s a dark chocolate cream and black cherry and has been our most popular for years,” Rosa told us.
The second most popular is a French Roast that blends beans from Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Pachamama is also developing a blend called K’intu to celebrate its 15th anniversary. The coffee will blend beans from Ethiopia in Africa, Peru in South America, and Nicaragua in Central America to honor the three growing regions where its beans are produced.
“The coffee is sustainable and organic, and it doesn’t have any pesticides,” Rosa said.
In addition to ordering from the online store, coffee lovers can also find Pachamama in food cooperatives around the country. If customers want to stock up for the long haul, they can purchase bulk beans through a wholesaler.
For couples who want an optimal Pachamama brew at home, they can purchase products through its website. For instance, they could opt for the Hario “Buono” Kettle, a gooseneck kettle that pours water slowly enough to soak coffee grounds for more flavor.
Couples can brew pour over coffee either by placing a Hario V60 Pourover directly into their cups or purchasing a Chemex glass container that brews 10 cups of coffee.
The Roastery, Gift Shop, and Cafes Cater to Coffee Lovers
When beans come to the Pachamama Coffee Roastery in Sacramento, they are a light green color and need to be roasted over a fire to develop a dark brown color. Roasters then examine the beans for imperfections before putting them into bags for sale.
The roastery is closed now due to COVID-19 precautions, but couples can visit the location and see how the team roasts beans when it reopens soon. Team members also share information about the Pachamama business model and its international coffee farmers.
The roastery also houses Pachamama’s gift shop, and fans of the company can order merchandise online, as well. Pachamama coffee mugs are a popular choice for couples searching for gifts for relationship milestones.
Rosa likes the Pacha Llama mugs, which highlight the Peruvian llama and celebrate the country’s many coffee farms. The Miir Camp Cup is meant for camping excursions with its insulation and spill-proof lid. The mug depicts the entire coffee-making process, including farmers harvesting, transportation, and coffee roasting.
“We started doing more merchandise in the past year, and everyone seems to love our mugs,” Rosa said.
The company also sells branded clothing, including hoodies and hats.
Couples in California can visit one of Pachamama’s cafés in Sacramento or Davis. The baristas at the three permanent locations — and the fourth at the Davis Farmers’ Market — highlight the coffee beans using “Slayer Espresso machines, Hario pour over bars, Chemex brewers, and Nitro cold brew taps.”
Locals and tourists visit the cafes to get fueled up for relationship celebrations or to pick up their daily cup of coffee.
Pachamama: Stabilizing the Coffee Trade for the Future
Pachamama customers can feel good about the coffee they purchase and the communities they support through their purchases. As the company celebrates its 15th anniversary, the team also focuses on its impact on a worthwhile cause.
“We love the fact that we’re a part of this revolutionary company that is changing the coffee industry. We’re providing a different path for sustainability and organic coffee. Everyone is proud and humbled to do this work,” Rosa told us.
Pachamama earned the 2021 Sustainability Award: Business Model Category from the Specialty Coffee Association, which reflects on the company’s business model.
“A business model like ours can better people’s lives and create a more level playing field for everyone from seed to cup,” said Rosa.
After 15 years of leading the coffee industry toward a more ethical future, Pachamama still has plans to grow its presence.
The company wants to become a leader in promoting sustainable and fair-wage agriculture in the coffee industry and farming in general. Pachamama plans to reach more consumers who seek high-quality coffee that sustains farmers, as well.
“Pachamama hopes to be a model for others by showing what a sustainable business can be. We can invest in something different. Everybody can buy good coffee, but investing in Pachamama will ensure the sustainability of coffee, which is something we love and enjoy,” said Rosa.