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You guys seem to put a lot of emphasis on locally produced products and “buying local.” Tell me, is Bold Bean Coffee locally grown?

Uh, no. And we get that question all the time. But unless you happen to live in or visit the tropical zone spanning the globe between the Tropic of Capricorn at Latitude 23º south to the Tropic of Cancer at Latitude 23º north, you’ll never be buying locally grown Arabica coffees. Producers in about 35 countries that are within that zone grow most of the world’s premium gourmet coffee. Couple that with the fact that Arabica coffees require distinct rainy and dry seasons, and altitudes from 1,800’ to 3,600’ (or more) above sea level, and the regions of the world suitable for coffee production become even more limited.

OK, so even if the raw products (green, unroasted coffee beans) that we use and that go into making your cup of coffee are sourced from around the world – South and Central America, Mexico, Africa and Indonesia – and don’t come from around here, we do craft and create the finished product. And, by doing so, we’re adding that local element that is so important to the concept of sustainability. The best-tasting and most sustainable choices that you as a consumer can make are foods that are fresh, seasonal, and produced close to home.

But what, you might ask, do we mean by sustainability? Well, in terms of our environment, sustainability refers to how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For us, sustainability is the potential for long-term well being – environmentally, economically and socially.

For instance, most food in the U.S. travels 1,500 to 2,500 miles to get from farm to table, and requires as much as 10 percent of the nation’s expenditures on fossil fuels (Worldwatch Institute). So, by purchasing local products, we can significantly reduce our use of and dependence on those fossil fuels.

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I’ve heard that to keep coffee fresh, the best place to store it is in the refrigerator. Is that true?

The refrigerator is perhaps the LAST place you want to berth your beans. You see, it’s not really cold enough, and much too moist, to keep coffee from going stale. But the biggest blow to those who don’t know is that a bag of coffee – just like that box of baking soda you might hide in the back to keep your fridge fresh – is a highly efficient methane magnet when it comes to absorbing odors. Refrigerated coffee, you’ll surely discover, give new meaning to the meaning of “blend.”

So what is the best way to keep coffee fresh? Well, if you’re going to use all of your coffee within a week, store your beans in a clean, airtight container. That’s by far the best way to ensure freshness and flavor. Oh, and make sure you always buy whole beans (not ground), grinding only as needed.

Though it’s always best to buy only as much fresh roasted coffee as you will use in a week (two at the most), you can freeze it to preserve freshness and flavor. Unlike the refrigerator, the freezer is fine – up to a point. Coffee stored in the freezer will stay fresh for a month or two, but only if beans are kept airtight. Wrap beans in several layers of plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. Once your beans have been frozen and thawed, don’t refreeze. Though it’s recommended to do so, you don’t have to thaw beans before grinding

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