“Where does the coffee come from?” is a common question among PJ’s Coffee franchisee candidates and our guests.
We’re proud to say we source coffee beans directly from farms in Honduras and Nicaragua. Finca Terrerito in Honduras and Agua Fresca in Nicaragua are located in areas that produce high quality coffee beans. The coffee from the beans grown at Finca Terrerito have bright, lightly fruity taste profiles and a very clean finish that doesn’t linger. The beans from the region where Agua Fresca is located typically produce a well-rounded, sweet and deep coffee.
Our direct trade partnership with these farms ensures our franchisees always have the freshest, highest quality product. Our franchisees also appreciate that we source coffee ethically, and that our partnership helps support the farmers who work so hard to grow and harvest our beans.
What Happens During the Harvest Process
Farmers at both coffee farms pick the beans at the height of their ripeness and sun-dry them on a cement platform.
At Agua Fresca (fresh water, in English), the process is a little more involved. The traditional wet milling and fermentation processes lasts anywhere from 18 to 36 hours. The farmers – as many as 100 of them during peak harvest months – then wash the beans with fresh water at Agua Fresca, which has six water sources – one stream and five springs.
The coffee beans are then shipped directly to our roasting facility thanks to the direct trade agreement between us and the farms. A direct trade partnership cuts out any middlemen or brokers, so the money we pay for the coffee goes straight to the farms.
Direct Trade Gives us Some Say
Although the farms are thousands of miles away from the closest PJ’s Coffee shop in the United States, we still have some input into how our coffee beans are sourced. A direct trade agreement allows vendors to have more input into the farming practices their partners use.
Because we care about our communities, we consider these farms two of our own, including the people and their environment. While our direct trade partnerships provide us more assurance about the taste and quality of our coffee, it allows us to tell our suppliers that we’d like them to use environmentally-friendly practices when growing and harvesting the coffee beans.
Through our direct trade partnership, we are able to invest back into the hardworking farmers at Finca Terrerito and Agua Fresca. For example, money the farmers have made through our partnership has contributed to benches for Finca Terrerito’s on-site church and an emergency vehicle for employees who need medical care. Additionally, Finca Terrerito has improved living quarters and improved cooking facilities that incorporate enhanced technology to reduce fuel consumption.
Our direct trade partnership provides the farm owners with a valuable intangible asset – peace of mind knowing exactly where the coffee crop they worked so hard to grow and harvest is going.
Farms are a Source of Pride
Our franchisees can be proud that the coffee they serve is ethically sourced and that the brand has a direct hand in what goes on behind the scenes at our farms. And guests can take heart of that fact as well while they enjoy the flavors of some of the best grown coffee in the world.