Coffees for a Cause

The School That Coffee Built

Track Our Progress
Each bag purchased helps support the school

Primero de Mayo community St. Martin,Peru

In true partnership with our Peruvian farming community in the town of Primero de Mayo, we’re teaming up with the farming co-op to rebuild their school in an effort to further support the educational efforts to build social and economic sustainability for generations to come. Throughout 2018, proceeds from our Peruvian coffees will support the efforts to improve the school (rebuilding the structure, adding electricity and installed a running water system) and community.

Project Updates

  1. VISIT TO ST. MARTIN, PERU

    October 2017

    This past year, we were presented with the opportunity to partner with our Peruvian farming co-op, Primero de Mayo, to rebuild their school building, and we couldn’t be more honored to be involved. Owners Doug and Jason were able to visit the co-op (via planes, cars, and mules!) and as they met the farmers and their families, they were also able to witness firsthand the impact that this new school will have on the entire community. The finished project will not only provide an improved learning environment for the children, but also provide a communal meeting space in which the farmers can improve their own farming techniques, and pass on their knowledge of coffee farming to the generations to come.

  2. GENERAL PREP WORK

    January 2018

    Materials have been gathered for the schoolhouse rennovations. Bricks have been carried through the jungle by mule (43 bricks at a time!). The existing walls have been demolished in preparation for the new, sturdier and better weathering structure that will house day to day school activities, town meetings, and community gatherings.

    Currently on the coffee farm, the farmers are continuing to prep for the coffee growing season. Planting occurred a few months ago, and now, farmers are continuing to monitor the fields to ensure pest and disease problems can be prevented, ensuring a bountiful crop for harvesting

  3. Thinning practice

    February 2018

    Our coffee farmers in Peru are now thinning the fruit on the growing coffee plants, to allow for more shade on each individual plant. This will help to improve not only the quality of the Arabica coffee bean itself, but also guarantee a higher quality cup of coffee as an end result.

    Pest & Disease Control

    February 2018

    Currently on the coffee farm, the farmers are continuing to prep for the coffee growing season. Planting occurred a few months ago, and now, farmers are continuing to monitor the fields to ensure pest and disease problems can be prevented, ensuring a bountiful crop for harvesting.

  4. Roof Work

    March 2018

    "How cool is this? Wood from the region, prepared by a local team of carpenters, was used for the trusses for the new roof of the school house. So much love and hand craftmanship is already going into the school, we can't wait to see the rest of the school house take shape over the next few months.

    Wood is being removed and replaced with concrete beams to help with longevity of the structure, steel panels will be reused. Weatherproofing"

  5. Weed Control/Soil Conservation / Ceiling & Masonry Work

    April 2018
  6. HARVEST

    May 2018

    Primero de Mayo is not only the name of our partner community in Peru, but the start of the coffee harvesting season! The coffee crop is picked by hand, Over the next few weeks, the pickers will select only the ripe coffee cherries off each plant, signified by the deep, dark red color of the fruit.

    Primero de Mayo post

    May 2018

    The school is taking shape before our very eyes - the new structure is a complete game changer for the farmers and their community - The concrete for the septic system is almost fully set! Having running water in the school is a complete game changer for the farmers and their families - not only does this mean the school house will have running water and plumbing for a bathroom, but the kitchen in the center of the school house will also be fully functional. Town meetings, farming education sessions, and celebrations will now be able to be prepped in a state of the art kitchen for generations to come.

    Flooring, Doors & Windows, Paint

    May 2018

    Final touches are starting to fall into place for the schoolhouse! New floors are complete throughout, the doors and windows have been installed, and a fresh coat paint of paint all around has really made the structure a sight to see.

  7. PROCESSING

    June 2018

    "Once the coffee has been picked, processing must begin as quickly as possible to prevent fruit spoilage. Depending on location and local resources, coffee is processed in one of two ways: dry or wet processing.

    The Dry Method is the age-old method of processing coffee, and still used in many countries where water resources are limited. The freshly picked cherries are simply spread out on huge surfaces to dry in the sun. In order to prevent the cherries from spoiling, they are raked and turned throughout the day, then covered at night or during rain to prevent them from getting wet. Depending on the weather, this process might continue for several weeks for each batch of coffee until the moisture content of the cherries drops to 11%.

    The Wet Method removes the pulp from the coffee cherry after harvesting so the bean is dried with only the parchment skin left on. First, the freshly harvested cherries are passed through a pulping machine to separate the skin and pulp from the bean.

    Then the beans are separated by weight as they pass through water channels. The lighter beans float to the top, while the heavier ripe beans sink to the bottom. They are passed through a series of rotating drums which separate them by size.

    After separation, the beans are transported to large, water-filled fermentation tanks. Depending on a combination of factors -- such as the condition of the beans, the climate and the altitude -- they will remain in these tanks for anywhere from 12 to 48 hours to remove the slick layer of mucilage (called the parenchyma) that is still attached to the parchment. While resting in the tanks, naturally occurring enzymes will cause this layer to dissolve."

  8. DRYING

    July 2018

    "When fermentation is complete, the beans feel rough to the touch. The beans are rinsed by going through additional water channels, and are ready for drying.

    These beans can be sun-dried by spreading them on drying tables or floors, where they are turned regularly, or they can be machine-dried in large tumblers. The dried beans are known as parchment coffee, and are warehoused in jute or sisal bags until they are readied for export."

  9. Cafeteria/Community Room

    Aug 2018

    The schoolhouse is serving as so much more than just an education center. The new state of the art kitchen allows the entire community to gather for a meal together!

  10. Harvest Season > Luna Coffees

    Sept 2018

    Harvest season is coming to a close, and the new coffee crop will find it's way to our roastery back in Denver, Colorado. Each one of our brands utilizes the Peruvian coffee farmed in Primero de Mayo - from our bright and delicious Boyer's Organic and Mashup Coffees to the Pure Peruvian coffee found in our Boca Java lineup. Don't forget! Proceeds from every bag sold in stores or online go directly back to the schoolhouse building project - we couldn't have made this happen without our amazing customers' support! Peruse thorugh our full lineup of Peruvian coffees at the bottom of this page!

  11. Second Trip

    Oct 2018

    "Our owners Doug and Jason headed back to Peru for a very special visit. Not only did they have a chance to visit the dry coffee mill and cup the latest coffee crop, but they were also able to attend the celebration of the completion of the School that Coffee Built in Primero de Mayo. What an incredible honor to see the impact of this new school building first hand! The project has been such a great success, there is talk of scouting out a second location for a new school project in one of the nearby coffee farming communities. More to come on this exciting new endeavor very soon!"

  12. Completion & Celebration > Chair

    Nov 2018

    "With the additional funds raised through this program, a brand new playground was added to the school! While in Peru, Doug and Jason were able to visit the schoolhouse. The children were eager to show off their new classroom, now full of books, art supplies."

School Improvements

Support the School

Boyer's Coffee

Since 1965, Boyer’s Coffee has been slow roasting their coffees at high altitude, ensuring the smoothest cup in the Rocky Mountains. Each small-batch roast of 100% Arabica beans has been sourced from around the world. The tradition started by Bill Boyer over 50 years ago lives on, with a vast variety of roasts and flavored coffees to suit any coffee drinker’s tastes.

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Boca Java

As coffee connoisseurs, “gourmet coffee” has a whole new meaning. Each bag of Boca Java coffee is completely roast to order, meaning we won’t roast it until you order it. Once your order is received, we take the specialty grade beans, handcraft a small batch with your name on it, and send it to your door the day after it roasts. Each cup that you brew and enjoy at home is the freshest coffee you will ever taste!

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Boulder Organic Coffee

We believe that every factor in the coffee growing process affects the end product - from the climate, soil, water structure, harvest timing, and so on. That’s why we work hand in hand with our coffee farmers worldwide to bring a variety of the finest specialty grade USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified coffees to coffee drinkers that share our passion for roast-to-order, ethically sourced coffees.

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Luna Roasters

Our Craft Coffee program is dedicated to ethically sourcing the highest quality Arabica beans, all of which are fresh-roasted and delivered as soon as possible to each local store. We believe our stronghold lies in not only the personal relationships we have with our coffee farmers, but also the understanding we have of the subtleties of coffee flavor brewing method, allowing us to bring the best blends to our customers with the finest taste.

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