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San Basilio Cafe: Coffee from the Clouds

San Basilio Coffee review by Sweatpants & Coffee

Tucked high in the Nicaraguan mountains lies a coffee bean farm that originated in the late 1800’s but did not receive its name until 1923. San Basilio was bought by Basilio Perez-Alonso, who wanted to grow coffee plants at higher elevations. When it began, San Basilio was one of the only farms in Nicaragua that grew 100% premium Arabica coffee at an altitude over 3,000 feet. Hence, high altitude coffee was born.

Coffee trees thrive at higher elevations. The climate is ideal between 3,000 – 6,000 feet, and since the temperature averages 70° year-round, the climate is frost-free. With all the sunshine and rainfall at that elevation, the beans develop slower, producing a richer flavor and bolder aroma than those grown at lower elevations.

Bean farm1

Currently, San Basilio offers smooth, rich, roasted high-altitude coffees from a variety of high altitude growers online. And although they are now U.S. based, their roots and priorities run deep. They work closely with the farms they choose, purchasing beans at fair-trade prices. Adolfo, Basilio’s great-great grandson, explains how important it is for them to continue to work with mountain farmers:

Farm1

“…our main farms in particular are in the area known in Nicaragua as El Crucero, which is in an area known as Las Nubes (The Clouds). It is called that, because in the late evenings and the mornings, the clouds descend onto the town and farms and are at eye level. You can actually stand in the clouds and grab them. For the farms, this is a new form irrigation, because the moisture from the clouds is deposited onto the crops through the direct contact, and without the need of expensive wasteful irrigation systems.”

Crop1

For the entire month of December, San Basilio will be working with The National Parkinson Foundation. 75% of proceeds from their National Parkinson Foundation Gift Set will go directly to the foundation to benefit research. Some studies have actually shown that a higher-caffeine intake lowers your chances of developing Parkinson’s disease. You can enjoy your coffee and help fight Parkinson’s!

The Coffee Review:

Let me just start by telling you that this is the cutest packaging I have ever seen. Seriously, look at these mini burlaps! Adolfo says they are just like the ones they use when they buy the beans from the farm, only mini.

San Basilio burlap

I checked out their National Parkinson Foundation Gift Set and loved it. The sets are only $8 a pop with free shipping! That’s like three cups of coffee anywhere else, and you wouldn’t even be supporting Parkinson’s disease research. This is a win-win. Each mini burlap bag comes with your choice of either 5 coffee pods or a pouch of ground or whole bean coffee, a Parkinson’s Foundation bracelet, and a K-Clip for K-cup users.

San Basilio coffee is priced on the lower end of the spectrum. At $14.95 per pound, it’s actually a steal. There are three roasts: Prima Dark, Tramonto Mild, and Decaf Tramonto. The coffee is divided into 2 oz. packages to keep it as fresh as possible between cups, and each pouch makes around 8 cups. The pods are mid-range at $19.95 for a box of 24, but the more you buy, the cheaper they get. They even offer an Office Solution option where they bring you 1 or 2 air pots (air tight coffee dispensers), depending on office size, and 3 lbs. of dark and medium roast coffee, starting at $90. A great way to bring decent coffee to the break room!

Taste Test:

The Prima Dark Roast: Subtle flavor with stronger nutty notes. Slightly smoky without any bitterness. Smooth finish with no after taste.

Tramonto Mild Roast: Bold in flavor with a little bit of sweetness. Slightly nutty with a little bit of acidity. No bitterness and very smooth.

Supporting San Basilio is about more than just good coffee. It’s about supporting a family dream that supports a worthy cause. Check out the National Parkinson Center Here and the San Basilio Parkinson Foundation Gift Set Here.

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