Byron Corrales

Byron Corrales

Farmer Facts

Byron Corrales is a visionary farmer, campesino leader, and pioneer in the application of biodynamic farming practices to coffee production.

Twice he’s won top honors for this magical coffee: Maracaturra, a special variety found only on his small family farm in Nicaragua. The coffee is a unique hybrid of the heirloom varietals Maragoype and Caturra (Bourbon). It was developed and is grown exclusively by Byron Corrales for Thanksgiving Coffee Company. It is a truly exceptional coffee that’s more akin to its cousins in the highlands of East Africa than its neighbors in Central America.

“I was 7 years old when my grandfather taught me to plant my first coffee tree. I liked to look at sun coming through the trees, to share the lessons my grandfather taught me about the growth of plants, and watch the rain fall and surrounded by the scent of the earth. I listened to the song of the birds and rode my horse to school every morning. 42 years have passed in my life since then and I want to transmit our family’s art, our work of many years, discovering the flavors we’ve learned to bring forth from our mountains, expressed in this cup by way of respect for our envionment and the songs we sing every day in our coffee farm.

I talk every day with my plants, and they ask me who will consume each bean of our production and in this moment when you are tasting our coffee, I want to talk with you and tell you in silence that you are contributing to the conservation of our plantet, that this cup has come from the Arenal Forest Reserve, that its flavor that you’re tasting on your palate is the expression of life and the life energy of all the living beings who live in our community. Now we are together in embraced by this moment celebrating with joy the responsibility of protecting the future of our generations.

The cup of responsibility is a song of love.”

— Byron Jose Corrales Martinez, 2008

Farmer Stories

Read more about our work with Byron Corrales

Natural (Dry) Processed Coffee

Natural (Dry) Processed Coffee

In a world getting short on water, coffee lovers should begin to get their palates ready to recognize “Dry Processed” or “Naturals” when they buy coffee.
Latest Arrival Notes: Byron’s Maracaturra Natural

Latest Arrival Notes: Byron’s Maracaturra Natural

Last year, Byron began processing a small amount of this special coffee using the natural process: sun-drying the coffee cherries to develop a rich, fruity flavor notes.
Bird Friendly Coffee Certification

Bird Friendly Coffee Certification

Bird Friendly CoffeeSmithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) certification is another step we are taking at Thanksgiving Coffee to verify that the coffees we purchase and co-brand with them are truly coming from farmers who support and maintain “Bird Friendly” habitat on their farms .

The SMBC certification is “the undisputed “Gold Standard” when assessing forest habitat for the quality of its ability to support not just birds, but all the species that live and make their home in a particular indigenous forest . The standards that the Smithsonian scientists have set are based on rigorous research into the nature of the forest itself, its remaining over-story size and density, its type of remaining trees, the numbers of levels of “over-story” and how our coffee agriculture has been integrated into the original Habitat.

At the heart of the certification is the absolute of no use of oil based Fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. The coffee farm must first be Certified Organic before it can begin the SMBC certification assessment process.

Thanksgiving Coffee is a certified organic Roastery. We follow strict rules set by USDA . About 85 % of our coffees we purchase are Certified organic, but as of this writing only our coffees from Guatemala (Guaya’b Cooperative) and from Nicaragua (Byron Corrales’ Family Farm) are SMBC Certified. These coffees represent only 15% of our Roastings at this time.

After meeting with SMBC scientists in May of this year in Washington DC (Their offices are located at the National Zoo) we set up a plan to have each cooperative we buy from in Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Peru, Uganda, and Rwanda, assessed for the “Bird Friendly” certification. Where farms are organic but lack the shade standards needed for the SMBC certification, we will work with the cooperative’s Board leadership to put forest restoration practices in place to enable certification. One by one these farm habitats will be certified.

Our goal is to have 85 % of our coffees SMBC Certified by 2020.

With collaboration and help from The Smithsonian Outreach program for coffee farms we hope to bring a wide range of coffee farms into this Gold Standard certification. Our relationship with the leadership of the SMBC is a close one. We see this as strong support for The American Birding Association Songbird Coffee we sell under a licensing agreement we have had since 1996. Their members, who focus on their love of and protection of migratory songbirds, depend upon the science of the SMBC for their assurance that the money they spend on coffee is being spent in the name of protecting them, and we at Thanksgiving Coffee mean to assure our Songbird followers that the highest level of awareness goes into the coffee they drink each morning, and that the birds out there are able to feed their young, build their homes and fatten up enough to make their amazing migrations each year.

Paul Katzeff, Co-FounderSincerely,
Paul KatzeffCo-Founder & CEO
Roastmaster Emeritus

 

 

 

Shop Song Bird CoffeeTry Song Bird Coffee

These coffees benefit the American Birding Association, which works to inspire people to enjoy and protect wild birds through publications, conferences, workshops, tours, partnerships, & networks.

Shop Song Bird Coffee


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