FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of our customers' frequently asked questions.  If you have a question that is not answered here, just send us a message and we'll be happy to assist you in any way we can.

Where does coffee come from?

It is believed coffee originated in Ethiopia sometime around the 10th century when people noticed goats eating the berries from certain trees.  There are now coffee tree forests that have been growing for hundreds of years.  Later, sometime in the 15th century, people of the world began cultivating coffee trees in the Arabian peninsula in countries like Persia, Syria, and Turkey.  One hundred years later, coffee made its way to Europe, and by the mid-17th century, coffee arrived in the new world, New York.  After the historic Boston Tea Party, colonists began their boycott of tea and the favorite New World beverage became coffee.  After its appearance in North America, coffee cultivation made its way to Central and South America.  

All of the world's coffee comes from countries that  are located near the equator, and all coffee must be grown at high elevations. Other factors like climate, soil conditions, and native flora and fauna also affect a coffee's flavor profile.  Just as there are many different types of apple trees, there are also many varieties of coffee trees in the world.  

If coffee starts out as a berry, how does it become delicious coffee?

Most people are accustomed to seeing coffee beans that have already been roasted and, oftentimes, ground.  It surprises a lot of people to learn that the coffee bean is actually a seed from the fruit of a tree.  Just as other farmers may harvest fruit from trees like orange and apple, coffee trees are similar.  Once the berries are picked, there are various processes they will undergo, depending on the type of coffee, climate conditions, and traditions in a specific region.  For drying, most of our coffees are patio-dried, where they are maintained and turned by hand, and dried in the warm sun.  This process ensures greater uniformity and quality control while also eliminating the use of fossil fuels and generation of carbon emissions.

Where does Boardwalk Beans source its coffee?

Boardwalk Beans coffee is single-origin specialty coffee that comes from the finest farms in the world. We source our coffee through major world specialty coffee importers. Our coffee importers have stringent quality standards that they expect from the farms with which they work. Boardwalk Beans goes a step further, taking into consideration several other factors including how the trees are grown (climate, soil, elevation, whether chemicals are used in the growth cycle, etc.), whether the farms are members of co-ops,  Fair Trade Certified, Certified Organic, estate coffees, or harvested in small lots.  Many of the farms we source from provide housing, education, healthcare, and living wages for all their employees, and we aim to continue this pattern of support. 

What is single-origin?

Single-origin coffee is coffee that only comes from one place.  Specialty coffee beans are meant to be able to stand alone, this is not to say many blends cannot come from single-origin regions; however, if Boardwalk Beans offers coffee from Sumatra, the only coffee you will receive is Sumatra.  

What is Fair Trade Certified?

Fair Trade represents more than 70 developing countries around the world that produce much of the world’s agricultural needs like cotton, sugar, and of course, coffee!  It guarantees that farmers who produce coffee are being paid a fair wage.  So, if the rate for coffee in the world market is a specific price, Fair Trade says the farmer will be paid that price.  It sounds simple, right? Traditionally, farmers in these countries have not been paid a fair wage, so they remained in poverty, unable to build and grow their businesses and communities.  When you consider that, from farm-to-cup, coffee prices can be marked up by more than 1700%, the farm workers who grow and care for the coffee deserve a certain equitable standard.  Fair Trade works with farmers, building solid relationships that help farms with eco-sustainable farming, like Organic farming that helps protect the health of workers and the environment.  

What is Organic Certified?

USDA Organic Certified crops are grown without the use of chemical pesticides, synthetic/chemical fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It also promotes ecologically sustainable farming practices and biodiversity.  For instance, just as one might plant peppermint or marigolds in home gardens to keep harmful insects from damaging tomato and strawberry plants, coffee farmers learn how to naturally, safely, and effectively care for the environment while promoting greater quality and handling of their own crops.

Boardwalk Beans strives to ensure that beans we carry come from farms that care as much about the environment, farm workers, and quality of their coffee as they do about growing their business.  Often, small farms cannot afford costly certifications, but they also cannot afford chemical pesticides and fertilizers, either.  We guarantee that even if the coffees we carry are not certified Fair Trade Organic (FTO), our coffee will never come from giant corporate farms that sacrifice excellence in quality and social responsibility in favor of their bottom-lines.  

What is Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee?

In agriculture, in order to become certified, farms must meet criteria standards that encompass all three pillars of sustainability—social, economic, and environmental. Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms are audited regularly to verify that farmers are complying with comprehensive guidelines, which require continual improvement on the journey to sustainable agriculture. The principles of sustainable farming are:

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Improved livelihoods and human wellbeing
  • Natural resource conservation
  • Effective planning and farm management systems

What does "Bird Friendly®" mean?

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) is coffee that comes from farms in Latin America that provide good, forest-like habitats for birds. Rather than being grown on land that has been cleared of all other vegetation, "Bird Friendly®" coffees are planted under a canopy of trees.

Because of the shaded, forest-like setting created by these canopy trees, coffee produced this way is called shade-grown. Not only are "Bird Friendly®" coffees shade-grown, they are also organic, meaning they're grown without the use of chemical pesticides which poison the environment.

How does Boardwalk Beans roast its coffee?

We roast our coffee using a high-quality, specially designed, arcane drum in small batches at an average of 5 pounds each.  Our coffee is hand-roasted and heat controlled by a flaming hot 60,000 BTUs with five propane burners, allowing for meticulous control over our roasts.  We are able to craft limitless roasting flavor profiles based upon different bean varieties and roasting levels.  

Where is all your shiny, fancy packaging?

Since Boardwalk Beans coffee is only roasted to order, the coffee we bring our customers is ultra fresh.  We use 100% recycled kraft bags, lined with food-safe vegetable cellulose. The kraft bags are great because they allow the beans to naturally degas and release carbon dioxide, to help beans settle into their full flavor potential.

Do you prefer whole bean coffee?

If you talk to us and tell us your life is without a coffee grinder, we will try our best to convince you that really great coffee should stay in its whole bean form until it's ready to be brewed. The primary reason is to retain the full flavor of the coffee.  Once beans are ground, oxygen mixes with the grounds and begins the oxidation process immediately.  While living beings need oxygen to breathe, dried coffee beans do not and the oxygen will cause your beans to lose their intended splendor, breaking down quality and hindering taste.  

Because we love coffee and our customers, if you subscribe to our Rolling Chair Coffee Service and mention that you need a grinder, we will send one along with your first order as our gift to you.  Think of it as a way to celebrate finding coffee you love and can feel great about drinking.

Does Boardwalk Beans offer wholesale or corporate rates?

Yes, we do! We are happy to provide outstanding service and coffee to organizations and businesses at wholesale rates. Please contact us at coffee@boardwalkbeans.com and we will be happy to provide you with whatever you need.