The unique, certified organic, Himalayan coffee bean Halo uses to deliver some very special flavour characteristics and comes from a relatively new coffee plantation nestled within clear view of Mount Everest in the rural municipality of Nuwakot, Nepal.
From the only producer of excellent quality Himalayan snow water washed shade grown, organic, sundried green beans from the Himalayas, 700m (2,200 ft) above sea level.
The plantation is situated on the banks of the snow-fed Trisuli River irrigating the fields and washing the parchment. At this latitude this is an unusually frost-free valley. All the Mt. Everest Supreme beans are organically grown using natural fertilizers using compost bought from small farmers during their off-season. After harvest (between January and April), the beans are washed in the same snow-fed mountain river water from the Ganesh Himal mountain range which irrigates the coffee bushes throughout the growing season. The River flows through the middle of the estate. After washing, and then naturally sun-drying, our coffee beans are hand sorted and graded to deliver a consistent raw material for roasting
It's a labour intensive process, and the plantation creates many jobs around Nuwakot in the picking fields as well as sorting and grading. But the wait between harvest and delivery is well worth it in the cup.
Nepalese coffee was originally introduced in 1939 by a Monk who brought seeds from Burma. But then for nearly 100 years, nothing really happened - coffee, not natural in Nepal, just didn’t take to this part of the Himalayas. Until 1994, when Ujjal Rana, the charismatic owner of the Mount Everest Supreme farm, started a new project to grow coffee on 70ha of what used to be an almost desert-like rice production farm.
It looks more like a jungle now though, with its shade trees and coffee bushes. The mainly Catturra varietal has taken on the essences of the mountain foothill soils and climate to deliver a depth and diversity of flavour that is impossible to source anywhere other than Mt. Everest.
Today, with reforestation, soil conservation, and wildlife conservation practices firmly established on the farm, the projects' shade trees provide a superb environment for migratory and non-migratory birds and endangered animals, including Leopards, many of which have returned after many years absence from the vicinity.
The farm also encourages small neighbouring farmers to plant coffee by providing them with coffee seedlings. Because it's economically isolated and in an under-developed region, the plantation has created jobs and brought much-needed foreign currency. This international trade has supported a Primary and Secondary school near the farm, and has had considerable impact on local inhabitants livelihoods especially in regard to the employment and training of women.
The Estate owner has actively supported the Nepalese Gurkha earthquake relief operations following the April 2015 disaster which killed nearly 9,000 people, and injured nearly 22,000, contributing both funding and physical re-building assistance to repairing housing and infrastructure destroyed by the quake.
Halo has a long connection with Nepal. Founder Richard's father conducted conservation work there in 1982. We are very proud to work with the plantation and support the efforts of Ujjal and the community.
A picture from the journey to the plantation
Flavour notes (in a Medium or Dark Roast): Even Green Acidity, Light Body, Soft-smooth Flavour, with floral, cinnamon, ginger and citrus tones.