"Café Rojas" organic coffee
at Whole Foods Markets,
or under the "Trader Joe's" label at Trader Joe's,
or under the "Café Canopy" label online at
Eleven years ago Karen Cebreros faced a crisis. She had an enlarged heart condition, cardiomyopathy. Some instinct took her down to Peru, where curanderas, herbs, and the destressed life in the mountains brought her back to health. She's been thanking them ever since by finding markets for their organic coffees. She buys direct from the farmers, so they don't get screwed by middlemen. And, unlike Starbucks, she doesn't allow deforestation. She insists farmers who sell to her grow coffee the traditional, slow, non-pesticidal way, under shade trees, mixed with other crops that farmers need to feed their families (and also enrich the soil for the coffee bushes). Cebreros says rebels, cocaine growers, and middlemen chased her out of Colombia. But her Elan Organic Coffees, based in modest offices downtown on F Street, has now helped organize co-ops, mainly in Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico's Chiapas region. And the farmers are thriving. What can you do? Drink! Toast her, organically! Yes, it's more expensive. You'll pay about $12 a pound, 10 cents a cup.