Ahead of Earth Day, we brewed some of our Organic Carolina Rain and sat down with our Director of Coffee to discuss Dilworth Coffee’s local efforts to support sustainability. Here’s how the conversation went:

First, Brad, let’s talk about this delicious coffee we’re tasting.

Absolutely. Organic Carolina Rain is one of Dilworth Coffee’s oldest organic blends, and it is one of our customers’ favorites. So it is a perfect blend to feature for Earth Day. Some customers who have been with Dilworth Coffee for decades may remember this blend as Organic Lila’s Rain. It’s the same blend, but we updated the taste profile and name to better represent what’s best about Dilworth Coffee today.

What beans are in Organic Carolina Rain?

Organic Carolina Rain is comprised of two coffees. First, we’ve chosen USDA-certified organic beans from the slopes of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. The region’s high altitudes and rich, volcanic soil create ideal growing conditions. These beans provide a smooth and balanced sweetness to the blend with delicate citrus and floral notes.

The second component is organic coffee from the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. Farmed from the lower slopes of the Sierra de Los Cuchumantanes mountain range, our USDA organic Guatemala adds depth and character with bright flavors of citrus fruit.

What are the cupping notes?

AROMA: Citrus, Floral
BODY: Light
FLAVOR: Caramelized Sugar, Orange Citrus
ACIDITY: Bright, Lively
AFTERTASTE: Tangy, Sweet

Choosing a USDA-certified organic coffee to celebrate Earth Day is a good start toward sustainability in the coffee industry. What else are we doing?

Organic. Fair Trade. Rainforest Alliance. Bird Friendly. These are all good things to find on a coffee label. And Dilworth Coffee was the first Charlotte coffee roaster to receive USDA organic certification. So it is obviously important to us all year round; not just on Earth Day.

But, to me, the word ‘sustainable’ means doing the right thing for the land and workers throughout the coffee value chain. It starts with sound farming practices at origin and paying a fair price for green coffee, which will allow farms to take care of the land and community. But sustainability is also important at the roaster level.

At the roaster level, what is Dilworth Coffee doing to promote sustainability?

Roasting coffee creates byproducts, and we make every effort to repurpose or recycle any waste that we create. As part of that effort, we donate our roasting byproducts to farming programs in our community. We have been working with the Farm at Penny Lane in Chatham County. We donate our used burlap to their community farming program. It’s a great program because the Farm at Penny Lane uses a holistic and sustainable approach to enhance the quality of life for those with mental illness.

We also work with Paz Farm in Chapel Hill, which is an organic and sustainable community farm, to provide coffee chaff. A fine inner layer coating the seed, between the thicker parchment and the bean, chaff is a recurring waste byproduct of roasting. The heat of the roasting process converts the bean’s internal moisture into steam causing the skin to heat up and the bean to expand. During roasting, the chaff falls off and is removed from the roaster

Like coffee, chaff contains a high nitrogen content which makes it a valuable product for farming. As part of our commitment to consciously create great coffee experiences, I’m very proud that we have found a way to recycle the chaff from every roast instead of tossing it into the dumpster.

Get ready for Earth Day. Buy Organic Carolina Rain online or call us at 866 849 1682 if you are interested in buying wholesale coffee for your coffee shop, restaurant or specialty retail store.