Blog post contributed by Celina Sandoval of Katz Coffee

We proudly announce the arrival of the Arboretum Early Bird Coffee! This coffee is a result of a community partnership between local coffee roaster and distributor, Katz Coffee and the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. As part of the Coffee Cause Program at Katz, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Houston Arboretum.

Shade grown coffee:
The Arboretum Early Bird Coffee represents and supports shade grown, bird friendly growing practices. With widespread clear-cutting for sun coffee plantations, it is imperative to protect the tropical forest that remains and rehabilitate degraded ecosystems. Every cup of Bird Friendly coffee you drink encourages more farmers to grow in the shade, which is good for birds and for people.

Organic, bird and forest friendly:
First, the coffee is certified organic, which means managing a healthy soil base and applying no harmful pesticides to the coffee that could otherwise run off into streams and rivers. This helps reduce the billions of pounds of noxious chemicals injected annually into natural ecosystems that support wildlife and communities. The program goes a step further, requiring a variety of native shade trees throughout the coffee plantation. Through decades of research, we’ve learned the combination of foliage cover, tree height and diversity needed to provide suitable migratory bird habitat while maintaining productive farms. Producers must be re-certified every three years to ensure they continue to meet these requirements and can truly call themselves Bird Friendly.

Farmers protect water sources for their communities and sequester carbon by managing the forest-like system, which also provides a host of other products like cacao and spices. And the premium prices they fetch for Bird Friendly coffee supports their families and local economies.

The rich flavor of bird friendly coffee:
Shade grown practices result in better-tasting coffee—its rich flavor comes from beans maturing slowly in the shade. Arboretum Early Bird Coffee excites the senses with its distinct aroma and rich flavors.

Helping migratory Houston Birds:
This coffee is shade-grown in Central and South America in such a way that the bird migration habitats are protected. Many of the birds that pass through the lush ecosystems of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center are the same birds that spend their winters in the refuge of these preserved habitats. Find out more about the Summer Tanager and other migratory birds we share with our coffee farmers by visiting the Houston Arboretum!

To get your own bag of this coffee and support the farmers who support our migratory birds, come to the Houston Arboretum’s Nature Shop and buy a bag! You can also visit the Katz Coffee website. Be on the lookout for the coffee in Central Market, HEB, and other stores. Soon you will be able to grab a bag with your regular grocery shopping.

Early Bird Coffee
coffee plantation
summer tanager migration