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20. The (rain) water in your coffee

Last week I suggested that the best water may the water that does not go into processing your coffee.  Today I am here to say that if you must use water in the milling process, make it rainwater!

Earlier this month I finally had a chance to visit some of the members of COMUS – an organization of small-scale famers in the Usulután department of El Salvador.  Years ago, when I was directing the CRS Fair Trade program from our headquarters in Baltimore, we were able to make a small grant from the CRS Fair Trade Fund to COMUS for some upgrades to its coffee mill, including a rainwater harvesting system.  Last month, I was finally able to see the results of that investment when I visited the organization and toured its wet mill.  Here is what I saw:

COMUS uses the water from this tank is used to wet mill the organic certified coffee grown by its members.  Using grey water for washing coffee.  Leaving more blue water for drinking, washing, cooking, etc.  Lovely!

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